Sioux Falls Drivers Have Higher Risk of Accidents in Rural Areas

car accident lawyer

Recent research has found that car accidents are more likely to be fatal in rural areas than urban areas. While this is a concerning statistic, the study has also identified critical risk factors. This enables South Dakota drivers to mitigate their risk of injury on the road.

Our Sioux Falls car accident attorneys work to help crash victims regain their financial footing, as they grapple with mounting medical bills, lost wages and the pain and suffering of a serious crash.

Rural Accident Statistics

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported on the findings of a study into accident rates in rural versus urban areas. This study reported that, in 2015, only 19 percent of the population of the United States lived in rural areas, yet nearly 60 percent of motor vehicle deaths reported that year occurred on rural roads. The number of crashes in urban areas was found to be higher, but rural accidents were far more likely to cause fatal injuries. The study also identified key risk factors which contribute to the severity of car accident injuries.

How South Dakota Drivers Can Reduce the Risk of Injury on the Road

High speed is also a known risk factor for fatal car accident injuries. The World Health Organization reports that an injury victim is twenty times more likely to die in an impact at 50 miles per hour than impact at 20 miles per hour. And according to the National Transportation Safety Board, auto accidents involving speeding were responsible for more than 112,500 deaths on the roads of the United States between 2005 and 2014. This is almost equivalent to the number of people who died in alcohol-related car accidents during that same time period. Yet, because speeding receives so much less media coverage and social stigma, it is the subject of much less activism and advocacy. Consumer Affairs reports that speeding-related fatalities are more than three times more likely to occur on local roads than on highways. And indeed, this finding was corroborated by the CDC study, which also found that speeding was more likely to occur in rural areas. Speed reduction is more than a wise safety strategy - is is also a legal requirement. Section 32-25-3 of the South Dakota Code requires that speed be reasonable and prudent under the conditions then existing.

Seat belt use is also highly effective at reducing the severity of injuries sustained in a traffic accident. Dozens of studies over many decades have proven that failure to use a seat belt increases the likelihood that traffic accident injuries will be fatal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that seat belt use saved an estimated 64,000 lives between 2011 and 2015.  Injury victims who were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident may also receive reduced compensation from a driver whose negligence caused the accident. This is because the injury victim is deemed to have contributed to his or her own injuries by not wearing a seat belt.

An experienced Sioux Falls personal injury attorney can protect your legal rights after any type of auto accident and pursue fair compensation for the damages you have suffered. 

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