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4 factors that often make rural roads dangerous

Like most of your friends and family members, you probably drive every day. After all, while the state has a variety of advantages, West Virginia does not offer much in the way of public transportation. If you regularly drive on rural roads, you may have an increased chance of sustaining a serious injury in an automobile accident. 

West Virginia has a higher rate of fatal car accidents than virtually all its neighboring states. Certainly, on average, more deadly automobile collisions happen in the state than in the nation as a whole. Part of the reason the state has such alarming car-fatality statistics is its numerous rural roads. Here are four factors that often make these roadways dangerous: 

1. Design 

Even though interstate highways run through vast expanses of the Mountain State, many highways are two lanes. You may also encounter gravel roads, hidden turns and other road designs that may put you at increased risk of a traffic accident. 

2. Wildlife 

From chipmunks to deer, West Virginia has 70 different species of wild mammals. Even though you may see a squirrel in the city, you are more likely to come across large animals on rural highways and roads. Naturally, if you hit a large animal with your vehicle, you may sustain a serious injury. 

3. Alcohol 

While it is possible to encounter a police officer anywhere in West Virginia, DUI patrols are more common in urban areas. As such, the drivers you pass on rural roads may have a greater likelihood of having a blood alcohol concentration above West Virginia’s 0.08% legal limit. 

4. Lighting 

In the city, streetlights illuminate roadways, helping drivers see what is in front of them. That may not be the case on rural roads, though. On the contrary, you may only have your vehicle’s headlights to alert you to curves, vehicles and other hazards ahead. 

If you have an accident on a rural road, you may be far from effective medical care. That is, it may take longer for emergency responders to reach your vehicle. Then, you may have to travel a greater distance to a hospital or trauma center. Nevertheless, by understanding why accidents tend to occur in rural areas, you can better plan for staying safe behind the wheel. 

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