Trucks on Rural Roads and the Dangers

Rural Roads and Big Rigs: The Unseen Dangers of Non-Highway Trucking

Truck drivers spend a substantial amount of time on the interstates and freeways that crisscross the United States, gaining access to communities of all sizes during their trips. However, when drivers need to reach the more rural and remote communities of West Virginia, they may have to navigate the quieter rural roads of the countryside. Driving in the countryside comes with its risks, especially for truck drivers.

Learn more about the dangers of rural truck accidents and how your injury claim could be affected by location. For help with your truck accident claim, call Bailey Javins & Carter at 800-497-0234.

Challenges of Rural Roads

Rural roads are inherently harder to drive on for commercial drivers. Lanes tend to be narrower and many roads only have one lane in each direction, which means other drivers could get stuck behind slower trucks. When that happens, they are more likely to make unsafe decisions and attempt to pass trucks, increasing the risk of an accident. Furthermore, these roads are often poorly maintained. Lower populations in rural areas mean less tax revenue to perform road upkeep, add necessary signage and address sharp curves. These roads are generally intended for a lower volume of traffic, and trucks definitely challenge that.

Heightened Risk of Collisions

The risk of accidents is significantly higher on rural roads. If you look at crash statistics, collisions are more common in urban areas. However, you have to look at these statistics in context. While rural areas account for 40% of collisions, only 20% of people live in rural areas. That is a massive disparity that highlights the dangers of rural roads. Not only are rural roads more prone to accidents, rural accidents are more likely to be fatal than urban areas. This may be due to speed differences; while urban areas see much denser traffic, cars generally drive slower because traffic forces them to do so. On the other hand, drivers in rural areas often have the freedom to speed without fear of encountering another driver.

The Difficulty of Seeking Medical Attention

When accidents do occur on rural roads, it is often much harder for drivers to get the medical care they need. In any severe accident, a patient’s access to care often determines whether they live or die—or at least how well they recover. When a rural crash occurs, it is much less likely to be observed by other people who can call 911 and seek assistance. If the drivers involved are both unconscious, they have no chance of receiving help until another driver happens to take that same route.

Even if the drivers involved are conscious and able to call for help, there is no guarantee that they will have cell phone service. Anyone who lives in a rural area will tell you that they have limited options when it comes to cell phone providers, and even if there is a tower in the area, actually connecting to emergency services can be difficult. In severe accidents, every moment counts—and being in a rural area can cost you a lot.

Prevention of Rural Collisions

There’s no way to completely eliminate the need for truck drivers to navigate rural roads, so it’s important to do what we can to make rural roads safer for everyone. Unfortunately, these solutions cost money. Rural areas need improved road infrastructure, including wider and more accessible lanes, rumble strips that can alert fatigued drivers to their drifting, better lighting, and enough signage for drivers unfamiliar with an area.

It’s also important for commercial drivers to receive substantial training on safe driving in rural areas. They should have the resources they need to call for help when necessary, get accurate directions, and take breaks when necessary. Collaborative efforts can help reverse the trend of rural truck accidents.

Reach Out to Bailey Javins & Carter Today

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Charleston truck accident, don’t wait any longer to seek legal assistance. At Bailey Javins & Carter, we fight aggressively to help our clients get the compensation they deserve. Get in touch with us online or call us at 800-497-0234 to set up a consultation now.