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Why rural pedestrian crashes are often catastrophic

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Pedestrian collisions are synonymous with urban centers for many people. Those who live close to businesses, churches and family members often walk to get where they want to go and will typically have to cross many streets along the way.

However, urban centers are not the only place where pedestrian crashes occur. Many of the worst pedestrian crashes typically take place far outside of city limits. There are a few factors that make car-pedestrian crashes both common and serious when they occur in the countryside.

High speeds mean higher risk

On streets with a 55 miles per hour (mph) speed limit, pedestrians have a near-total risk of severe injury when a collision occurs. After all, 90% of crashes at 46 mph result in serious injury. In fact, they have a nearly 90% risk of dying in such crashes. The sad truth is that many motorists will not abide by the speed limit on rural roads, which means they may be traveling at speeds well over the posted limit when the crash occurs.

Rural locations mean less attentive drivers

Motorists in the city recognize that they may encounter pedestrians, cyclists and maybe even children dashing out into the street. Those driving down rural routes are much less likely to actively watch for pedestrians. There’s also a lack of marked crosswalks that can make it harder for people to cross safely, as well as a lack of overhead lighting. Especially during dusk, dawn and overnight hours, pedestrians in rural locations are at significantly elevated risk of someone hitting them. If that crash does occur, as previously noted, will likely be a very severe crash.

Driving off may seem more tempting

When someone knocks a pedestrian down in the city, they likely know that there are witnesses and possibly traffic cameras nearby that will connect them to the crime. Drivers that strike a pedestrian in a rural location may feel more tempted to flee because they assume there won’t be any evidence or witnesses that would connect them to the incident.

Pedestrians who are affected by car strikes in rural areas and families who lose a loved one in these tragic incidents may need to assertively negotiate insurance claims and also look into the possibility of going to civil court to hold one or more parties accountable for a severe or possibly fatal pedestrian crash. Pursuing justice after a pedestrian-car collision with the assistance of an experienced legal professional can help to compensate those affected and generate consequences for responsible parties.