Warning: Rural roads as dangerous as urban roads

Nov 2019

Buffalo car accident attorney

Aside from Buffalo and a few other select cities, much of western New York is vastly rural. The wide-open roadways passing through expansive farmland and dense villages are starkly different from the bustling intersections and congested streets in Buffalo.

Driving on rural roads can be equally as dangerous as driving in an urban area. Here’s why:

  • There is usually less lighting from street lights and buildings.
  • Animals, such as deer, often cross the road.
  • Other drivers are more likely to speed on rural roads.
  • Curvy and winding roads can make rural roads unpredictable.
  • There is often less police presence, making it easier for drivers to violate traffic laws.
  • Snow and black ice is often a safety risk. In some cases, roads are never plowed or salted.
  • Some roads are riddled with potholes, uneven surfaces, and large cracks.

A large portion of New York State road deaths occur on rural roads

In 2018, New York had a total of 943 statewide traffic fatalities, according to state crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Nearly half of New York’s road deaths occurred in rural areas.

Out of all fatal crash types:

  • 592 deaths involved a single-vehicle crash
  • 274 involved speeding
  • 113 involved a rollover
  • 429 involved a roadway departure

Out of the top deadliest New York counties in 2018:

  • Erie County ranked No. 5 with 44 traffic fatalities
  • Monroe County ranked No. 6 with 44 traffic fatalities
  • Onondaga County ranked No. 8 with 31 traffic fatalities

Officials address rural road safety

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) seeks to improve the conditions of rural roads, according to an article in Mass Transit.

“Rural America, which has a disproportionately high rate of fatalities and is historically neglected, needs to have its transportation needs addressed,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.

The initiative launched by USDOT — dubbed the Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success (ROUTES) — is intended to review rural infrastructure, identify safety and economic concerns, and work with other agencies to implement solutions.

Safety advocates and transportation officials invest a great deal of money and effort into improving infrastructure in urban areas. Rural areas, however, are often neglected, yet they account for more than 70 percent of all roadways across the U.S. In addition, nearly half of all road deaths occur in rural areas.

If you or a loved one was injured in a crash in Buffalo or anywhere in western New York, car accident attorney James Morris can help you pursue a solid legal claim. Attorney Morris has decades of real courtroom experience advocating for injured motorists and getting results. To get started on your claim, fill out our contact form online, so we can discuss the legal options available to you.

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