Downtown Charleston is different from other parts of West Virginia in that the form is often bustling with traffic. You don’t have to travel too far outside Charleston, however, to encounter country roads — and those may actually hold far more danger than city traffic.
In fact, a National Public Radio (NPR) report indicates that some of the most dangerous roadways for motorists are rural.
How big of an issue are accidents in rural areas?
NPR’s researchers reviewed ten years’ worth of accident data for their study. They discovered that 56% of all fatal annual traffic accidents occur on rural roads, even though there’s only an estimated 23% of American residents reside in these same communities. The researchers note that the percentage of crashes in rural areas varies and can be up to 90% in some cities or regions.
The researchers’ analyses of the above-referenced data led them to conclude that motorists are 2.5 times less likely to have a fatal crash on an urban road than a rural one.
What’s so dangerous about rural roads?
Motorists often speed as they travel along rural roadways. They may be more willing to take chances with their safety by not wearing seat belts or driving while impaired, thinking that the roads are usually empty. Anyone who drives in rural areas must also contend with wildlife such as deer running out in front of them. Each of these factors can cause a crash to be more catastrophic than it otherwise could have been.
Transportation officials often design roadways to cause as minimal of a disruption as possible on the rural landscape. These roads are often windy, narrow and have ditches alongside them instead of shoulders. These factors make it challenging for any motorist to avoid an accident or recover from any driving errors.
Injuries motorists suffer in rural accidents
There’s often a delay in a crash victim receiving much-needed medical assistance following a crash because no one immediately realizes an accident happened or due to how long it takes for help to arrive at a remote crash scene. Delays like these can make what was initially a survivable accident a deadly one.
Fortunately, West Virginia law allows car accident victims to hold any negligent parties who caused their injuries accountable for their actions. An attorney can help you better understand the options in your case.