While many people think of rural roads as safer than busy city streets, the opposite is often true. Why is that? Some people say it’s because there are more curves and hills, while others blame the lack of lighting or signage. Still, others claim that drivers in rural areas are more likely to speed and take risks.
This is especially true in Florida, where the combination of long, open roads and high speeds can lead to serious accidents. What’s really to blame for the high rate of fatalities in rural road car accidents? Let’s take a closer look at some of the theories.
8 Reasons Why Rural Roads in Florida are More Dangerous
The rural roadways of Florida are more dangerous than the interstates and highways that most residents of this state drive. The rural roads of Florida are home to four times as many fatal crashes than the rural roadway fatalities of any other state in the United States.
There’s a reason for this, but it isn’t an inherent problem with rural areas or rural drivers; rather, it is usually due to some combination of speeding, reckless driving, drinking behind the wheel, and little government regulation of rural road construction.
Here are some reasons why rural roads in Florida are some of the least safe on earth:
It would be one thing if rural roads were known for heavy traffic or low-speed limits around 55 — but more often than not, rural roads are lined with open lanes, and rural motorists regularly drive well over the speed limit.
Speeding isn’t the only concern on rural roads, but it is by far the number one problem according to fatalities on rural Florida streets.
2. Reckless Driving
Reckless drivers of any kind endanger everyone on the road, and some rural Floridians drive recklessly enough that they account for a high percentage of highway fatalities around this state.
Urban areas may see more reckless driving than rural Florida streets do. Still, rural drivers tend to be less aware of what’s happening around them, so there’s more room for accidents and injuries in rural areas than in urban centers.
3. Little Government Regulation of Road Construction
The rural roads of Florida may not always be unsafe for residents of this state, but rural road construction is unregulated by state and federal governments.
This means that rural road construction isn’t as regulated as rural interstate or highway construction, making rural lanes far less safe than any other type of road in Florida.
4. Inadequate Warning Signs
While rural roads allow priority passage for emergency vehicles, local traffic, and those willing to pay a toll, many rural highways have no warning signs about upcoming traffic stops or animals on the roadway, making it hard to see and avoid rural accidents.
5. Blind Spots
One of the most dangerous aspects of rural roads in Florida is the high number of blind spots around rural interstates and highways. Blind spots mean that rural motorists have difficulty seeing what’s going on outside of their car, so there are far more rural accidents than one would expect just from looking at stats.
6. Poorly Lit Roads
While rural roadways may be empty at night, this lack of traffic makes rural roads safer. In fact, many rural highways and interstates are less lit than urban roadways, making rural motorists harder to see, which creates further risk for injuries or fatalities when mixed with other factors such as speeding, reckless driving, or drunk driving.
7. Fewer Safety Standards
Safety measures are mandated for most highways, interstates, and even some local roadways, but rural Florida drivers are left unprotected by the government regarding rural highway safety standards.
8. Less Traffic Enforcement
Drivers are considered less likely to speed on surface streets than high-speed rural roads making rural intersections far more dangerous than urban intersections where people tend to drive slower. Rural Florida drivers don’t always follow the law or drive defensively, so rural road accidents are more frequent in this state than rural interstate highways.
Rural roads in Florida are dangerous. Whether you are driving through rural areas or rural counties, it is important to be safe on rural roads by adhering to all traffic laws and paying special attention to bicyclists and pedestrians.
If you have been injured in a rural road accident, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Florida motor vehicle accident lawyer for help. Our law firm offers free consultations and will not charge attorneys’ fees unless we recover money for you. Call us today for a free case evaluation.