When considering whether auto accidents are more common in rural or urban areas, you have to look at individual states. Most organizations that track this kind of data measure the frequency of crashes by their fatality rates. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rural and urban areas differed by less than 10 percent across the country in 2019, with rural areas coming in at 45% and urban areas reaching 54% of fatal crashes.
In Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, auto accidents were more common in rural areas. The NHTSA noted that speeding and alcohol-impaired driving were the two most common factors in fatal car accidents in rural areas across the country.
Rural vs. Urban Accidents in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi
In our practice areas, the differences between rural and urban accidents vary by state. Here are some examples of these differences:
According to the NHTSA, in 2019, 58% of Alabama’s fatal car accidents occurred in rural areas, while 42% happened in urban areas.
In Arkansas, the difference between fatal car accidents in rural areas versus urban areas spikes. The NHTSA reported 68% of its fatal car accidents took place in rural areas in 2019, leaving only 32% in urban areas.
The difference between rural and urban car accident fatalities was slim in Louisiana. While rural areas held 52% of fatal car accidents in 2019, urban areas came in a close second at 48%.
In Mississippi, fatal car accidents were far more common in rural areas than in urban areas. The 2019 NHTSA data showed that 70% of car accident fatalities occurred in rural areas, and only 30% occurred in urban areas.
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Factors that Contribute to Auto Accidents in Rural Areas
According to the NHTSA, two factors—speeding and alcohol-impaired driving—contributed to most auto accidents in rural areas across the country in 2019. Speeding-related accidents accounted for 27% of fatal crashes in rural areas, while alcohol-impaired driving constituted 28%.
Other Factors in Auto Accidents in Rural Areas
Rural areas are quite different from urban areas, and they come with their own unique challenges on the road. Generally, there is less traffic in rural areas, which would lead one to assume they are safer; however, this can lead drivers to let their guard down. Long stretches of open roads may also lead drivers to speed more and make more illegal traffic maneuvers.
Rural areas often have two-lane roads, and some motorists make a habit of overtaking slow-moving vehicles, including large trucks. This is extremely dangerous on a two-lane road. These situations can easily cause head-on crashes, which can result in serious injuries.
Other features that can make driving in rural areas dangerous include:
- Small, easy-to-miss road signs
- Low visibility in the evening due to a lack of streetlights
- Poorly maintained roads
- Wildlife and livestock on or near the road
- Winding, two-lane roads that create blind spots
What to Do If You Were in an Auto Accident in a Rural or Urban Area
Whether your car accident occurred in a rural or urban area, you can seek compensation for your losses. Handling an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit can be overwhelming, though, especially when you are recovering from injuries.
You don’t have to take on your case alone. You can hire a car accident lawyer to help you seek a settlement or a verdict.
See a Doctor After an Auto Accident
After an accident, make sure you see a doctor and begin treatment for your injuries. You may believe your injuries are minor, but only a physician can assess them and prescribe the necessary treatment. If you forgo or delay treatment, your injuries could worsen.
Aside from protecting your health, you should also see a doctor because it can help your case. Your personal injury lawyer can use your medical records to establish your losses, which may include ongoing medical care. You don’t want to be left footing the bill for someone else’s negligence down the road.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
A car accident lawyer can tackle the legal legwork while you rest and recuperate. They can:
- Investigate your accident
- Gather evidence of negligence and your losses
- File all the necessary paperwork for your claim or lawsuit
- Consult experts whose testimony can support your case
- Meet important legal deadlines
- Represent you in a trial
Work With a Car Accident Lawyer from Our Firm
While auto accidents are generally more common in urban areas, collisions can happen anywhere. The Morris Bart law firm serves accident victims in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Our car accident lawyers can take on your case while you focus on your health.
We can discuss your accident and explore your legal options for compensation. Call us for a free consultation.
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