According to research from National Association of Counties (NACO), North Carolina has more than 70,000 miles in rural roads. This may conjure up picturesque images of peaceful pastures and living life at a slower pace. While that may certainly be true, those who drive the rural roads face a serious danger. A Washington, DC transportation research group, TRIP, created a report in 2017 entitled Rural Connections: Challenges and Opportunities in America’s Heartland. This report named North Carolina rural roads are the third most dangerous in the nation. In 2015, there were 855 rural road accidents that resulted in death.
64% of North Carolina Auto Accident Fatalities Happened on Rural Roads
During 2015, 64% of all auto accident fatalities happened on rural roads. In addition to facing this sobering statistic, it’s important to recognize that 31% of North Carolina’s population lives in a rural area according to the Federal Highway Administration.
Living in a rural area means that people travel further to go to work, to school, to the grocery store, or even just going out to dinner with the family. The TRIP study also highlighted that rural roads are more dangerous than urban roads because they don’t have the same safety features and are less likely to have two lanes. Accidents are also more likely to happen because rural roads are poorly lit.
Are You Prepared for a Rural Road Accident?
Because rural road accidents in North Carolina are so dangerous and account for more than half of the auto accident fatalities, it’s important that you’re prepared. Always follow the posted speed limit. If you don’t know a road well or if the weather is bad, make sure that you drive under the speed limit so that you can more easily control your car.
If you’re involved in an auto accident on a rural road, take these steps:
- Do you have a medical emergency? Do the other drivers involved have a medical emergency? This is the most important consideration. If there’s a medical emergency, call 911 and request an ambulance.
- Do not leave the scene (except by ambulance for a medical emergency). Call the police and report the accident. An officer will come out to take a report. This report is used by the insurance companies to determine liability. It’s also used by auto accident lawyers in North Carolina to help settle or litigation claims related to the accident. The officer will provide you with a report number. They may also help you exchange insurance and personal information with the other driver. This is important because emotions can often flare during accidents.
- Do not say anything negative or accept responsibility for the accident when speaking with the other driver. Do not tell the other driver you’re sorry. Do not say anything that could be construed as you accepting responsibility for the accident. You can check to make sure they don’t have a medical emergency.
- If you don’t have a medical emergency, take photographs of the damage to both vehicles and the road where the accident took place. This can be very helpful if you hire an auto accident lawyer to help you with the claim.
- Get medical care as soon as you can. This is important for three main reasons. First, you may not feel any pain right after the accident. When the adrenaline wears off, you could recognize that you’re hurt. Second, minor injuries can get much worse if you don’t get proper care for them. Third, if you don’t get immediate medical care, the opposing party may argue that you weren’t actually hurt in the wreck.
- Call an experienced team of auto accident lawyers in North Carolina. It’s easy to understand why a claim for a serious accident could be benefited by having a lawyer. With minor claims, it can still be important. Insurance companies don’t always want to pay out fair compensation to cover medical bills or property damage. An auto accident lawyer can help make sure that you’re treated fairly.
Hurt in a Car Accident on a Rural Road? Call Us!
If you’re hurt in a car accident on a rural road, call the auto accident lawyers of Lewis & Keller. We provide free case evaluations. If you have a claim, we can help protect your legal rights. Don’t wait. Call us now at 877-890-0851.