When you picture urban driving, you may picture bumper to bumper traffic. Comparing this to rural joyrides through back roads and open landscapes may make rural driving seem like a joy. These differences affect more than just how long it takes to get from one place to another, and have a significant impact on safety. Because of the different traffic patterns in the city and in rural areas, there are different safety concerns for drivers in Arkansas.
If you or a loved one was injured in Bentonville, Bella Vista, Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Rogers, or Springdale, or in any of the rural areas in Benton, Sebastian, or Washington County, talk to an attorney. Ken Kieklak is a car accident attorney in Fayetteville and represents injured car accident victims across Arkansas. Talk to an attorney to see what your car accident injuries may be worth.
Urban and Rural Car Accident Statistics
The Arkansas State Police and the Highway Safety Office assemble statistics on the number of car accidents, car accident injuries, and car accident deaths each year. The most recent year with a full report on crash statistics is 2014. While these statistics may be a bit outdated, we can look back at previous years’ reports and see if there is a trend as to whether urban or rural driving is safer.
Most Recent Statistics
In 2014, there were 60,947 total accidents across Arkansas. This is down nearly 5,500 accidents from 2005, ten years earlier. In 2014, 11,276 of these accidents were in rural areas, but a whopping 49,671 were in urban areas. However, despite there being more accidents overall in urban areas, rural areas saw a greater number of deaths from car accidents in 2014. In that year, there were 288 car accident deaths in rural areas and nearly half as many, 148, in urban areas.
Similarly, using an average of statistics from 2005 through 2014, we see this trend remains constant. On average, there are around 12,651 rural car crashes and 49,826 urban ones. However, rural crashes cause an average of 334 deaths per year while urban crashes cause an average of 194 deaths per year.
With more people (and cars) packed into cities, there are bound to be more accidents. The higher population and increased population density of rural areas means that people are always fighting for space. With cars, the fight to occupy the same place often leads to a car accident. However, with less highways and more tight, city streets, cars are often not driving very fast. This leaves urban drivers and passengers with moderate injuries, if any.
Rural roads usually see higher speeds and may have more curves and difficult terrain. Flying down country roads and taking turns at speed can mean serious car accidents. Urban areas may also contain most of the mileage for Arkansas’ many highways. Highway accidents are often more dangerous and see more injuries and deaths due to the higher speeds of impact.
The interpretation of which area is “safer” comes down to your idea of “safe.” While you are less likely to be involved in a car accident in a rural area, that accident is more likely to be deadly. The inverse is true in town, where accidents might be more likely, but less lethal. Only 20% of car accidents occur in rural areas, but 63% of all auto accident deaths are from rural car accidents. Similarly, about 80% of car accidents occur in urban areas, but only 37% of car accident deaths occur in town
Compensation for Car Accident Injuries
Just because car accidents are less likely to be lethal in town, does not mean they will not be severe. Even low-speed crashes can still cause whiplash injuries. More severe crashes can cause catastrophic injuries like traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury.
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, you might be entitled to compensation. While car insurance may be able to handle much of the compensation you are entitled to, those payments could fall far below what you need. Car insurance in Arkansas is usually “no-fault” insurance. This means that, regardless of who caused the accident, your own insurance company will pay for your injuries up to a certain limit. If your injuries are worth more than that limit, you may be able to take the other driver to court to fully cover your injuries.
You could be entitled to broad areas of damages that car insurance simply will not cover. If you faced severe injuries, you may be entitled to have your medical bills paid. This includes things like emergency medical care, surgeries, X-Rays, and even physical therapy. If you had to miss work, you may be able to get your missed paychecks paid for. Lastly, you might be entitled to high damages for your physical pain and mental suffering, on top of these other payments.
Fayetteville Car Accident Lawyer
Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer Ken Kieklak represents injured car crash victims against the drivers that hurt them and the insurance companies that refuse to compensate them. For a free consultation, to learn more about your legal options, and to see what your case might be worth, call (479) 316-0438 today.