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Unique dangers of driving on rural roads

Car crashes are shockingly common in West Virginia, perhaps partly due to the prevalence of rural roads. In fact, nearly 62 percent of deadly auto accidents in the state take place on rural roads. 

Due to our winding hilly road and a lack of barriers and signs, people are more likely to end up colliding with something on a rural road than a standard street. If you ever find yourself driving along these rural roadways, then you need to be aware of the following dangers to avoid an auto accident.

Rogue drivers

People tend to be on “better” behavior when driving on highways or popular roadways because of the increase traffic and heightened police presence. However, rural roads do not have such features, so some people think they can get away with more—like driving too fast or perhaps while intoxicated.

Staying vigilant and away from drivers engaging in dangerous behaviors is extremely important to avoiding a car crash on these types of roads. 

Varying surfaces

You can be reasonably confident asphalt on streets will be smooth, but rural roads can change drastically in a moment's notice.

Local governments are more likely to stay on top of problems or potholes on city streets, but holes and other issues on rural road surfaces is a different story. You are more likely to encounter roadway hurdles on rural streets as well as tree branches, ice and standing water.

Elements of surprise

In many cases, whether due to environmental factors or the winding nature of the road, you might not see what is up ahead when traveling on rural roads.

A large piece of farm equipment could easily be blocking the road just around the bend or, an animal might be nearby and ready to cross the road.

Because of these types of surprises, avoid using cruise control when traveling on any country road—regardless of the time of day.

The bottom line: Stay cautious when driving on any rural road. Take your time and be safe. 

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