Throughout my career I have noticed a disturbing trend in the amount of fatality car accidents in rural areas. The 2010 Census shows that 19 percent of the U.S. population lives in rural areas, however, rural fatalities account of 54 percent of the car accident deaths in 2012. See the 2012 chart
Speeding and the time of day account for roughly the same amount of crashes in both rural and urban areas. However, alcohol use in rural areas highlights a much deeper problem. In 2012 55% of fatal accidents in rural areas were alcohol impaired car accidents, while 44% in urban areas were alcohol influenced crashes. This difference may be a function of a smaller deterrent police presence in the rural communities who arrest and prosecute DWI cases.
A couple of additional factors to consider: Rural areas have a disproportionate amount of SUV’s and pickups when compared with urban areas. SUVs and Pickups are more prone to rollover accidents than traditional cars. As a result, the additional deaths could be caused by the automobile typically driven in rural areas.
Finally, I believe that road conditions are worse on our Farm to County roads than in urban areas. Narrow lanes, animals and debris in the roadways, steep embankments, and lack of traffic signals are all contributing factors to the disproportionate amount of rural vs. urban accidents.
Whether you have been involved in a rural or an urban car accident, the lawyers at Funk & Associates are here to help. Call us now, you won’t regret it.