Wichita Drivers More Likely to Crash in Rural Areas

Decades of research have provided valuable insight into the risk factors for auto accidents. With effective planning and safe driving habits, drivers can effectively mitigate these risks to reduce their chances of being involved in a car accident.

Now, new research has uncovered a new risk factor: driving in rural areas. Learn more about how you can use this research to prevent car accidents. When accidents do occur, an experienced Wichita car accident attorney can protect your right to be compensated for your injuries and losses.

Why Rural Accidents Are More Likely To Be Fatal

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported on the findings of a study into accidents rates in rural v. urban areas. This study reported that, in 2015, only 19 percent of the population of the United States lived in rural areas, yet almost 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. This was found to be related to seat belt use, which was highest in urban counties and lowest in rural counties. Seat belt use was also higher in primary enforcement states (in which failure to use a seat belt is a separate offense for which an officer may stop and cite a driver) than secondary enforcement states (in which an officer may only cite a driver for failure to use a seat belt after another violation has been observed).

Seat belt use is a significant predictor of whether auto accident injuries will be fatal. Many studies over several decades have consistently demonstrated that seat belts save lives. An estimated 64,000 lives were saved by seat belts in the United States just between 2011 and 2015. Kansas law also requires drivers and occupants of vehicles to wear seat belts (see Kansas Statutes § 8-2503). There are very limited exceptions to this law. Keep your family safe by implementing family rules for seat belt use in the car. Teens, especially, should have driving privileges which are strictly contingent on seat belt use and other safe driving behaviors. Children should be placed in car seats and booster seats which are appropriately sized to their age and weight. Continue moving the child up to the next appropriate size as he or she grows. Until the age of twelve, children should never ride in a front seat, due to the risk of injury from the passenger airbag.

Speeding is also a significant predictor of fatal injuries, and it is more likely to occur on rural roads with few speeding enforcement mechanisms. The National Center for Biotechnology Information published a longitudinal review of studies which measured the efficacy of automated enforcement technology programs. Of twenty-eight studies reviewed, every single one reported a lower number of crashes after implementation of a speed enforcement technology program. Bloomberg reports that such technologies are widely acknowledged to be an effective deterrent to speeding, but that they are currently only used in fourteen states and the District of Columbia. Their efficacy has caused the National Transportation Safety Board to recommend that states remove laws which prohibit the use of such technologies.   

An experienced Wichita auto accident attorney will protect your legal rights after any auto accident, and hold negligent drivers responsible for their dangerous behavior so that no one else is hurt by it.