Many people think of big cities as dangerous, including dangerous places to drive. You might be surprised to learn that Ohio’s rural roads are far more dangerous than any highway or interstate. According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, almost 70 percent of fatal accidents occur on rural roads.
If you’re planning to drive on rural roads this winter, leave plenty of time to spare and follow the rules of the road. Here’s why rural roads are so dangerous—and tips to keep you safe.
Why are rural roads dangerous?
Many people think that because rural roads are less congested, and there’s less of a law enforcement presence, rural roads are safer. That’s not the case. In fact, there are more motorcycle, commercial vehicle and alcohol-related crashes outside of urban centers.
Unfortunately, rural roads come with their own hazards. The roads themselves may be less safe: unpaved or gravel roads, poorly-maintained roads, blind spots, sharp curves and steep hills can be tough to navigate, even in pleasant weather. Furthermore, the roads may be too narrow to pass safely, or lack safety features like lighting, guardrails and shoulders.
You’re also more likely to run into unusual obstacles on rural roads, including wild and domesticated animals, slow-moving farm equipment, fallen trees, tall crops or weeds and unmarked railroad crossings. These issues can limit your sight and require slower speeds to safely navigate.
Safety tips for driving on rural roads
The Department of Public Safety reminds drivers that it may take longer for emergency services to respond in remote areas. To keep yourself safe, be sure that you and any passengers buckle up each time you drive—even if you’re familiar with the roads. Keep an eye on the road conditions: if it’s too wet, icy or snowy to drive safely, look for a safe place to wait for better weather.
As you’re driving over gravel roads, keep in mind that your vehicle won’t have as much traction as on paved roads. It’s easy to brake too hard or overcorrect your steering.
Finally, when driving at night or just before sunrise, keep an eye out for deer. They travel in packs and frequently freeze when they see a car. If hitting the deer is unavoidable, do your best not to swerve. This could send your vehicle offroad or into oncoming traffic.
Consult an Ohio accident attorney today
The Law Offices of Tim Misny can help you with your rural car accident case. If you were the victim of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (877) 944-4373 so that I can evaluate your case right away.