Missouri’s High Rates of Rural Accident Fatalities Are a Matter of Concern

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by | Sep 8, 2011 | Auto Accidents

Missouri Crash Lawyer, Douglas R. Horn, is citing to a new report that shows that a high number of fatal traffic accidents occur on rural roads. According to the report, the traffic accident rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in Missouri in 2009 was 2.31, compared to 0.75 for other roadways. In fact, Missouri is included in a list of the top twenty states with the worst rural fatality rate per vehicle miles traveled.

In 2009, there were 530 rural traffic accident deaths in Missouri, the ninth highest number in the nation. Missouri ranked ahead of many other states that have large swathes of rural areas, including Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas.

It’s not hard for Missouri car accident lawyers to understand the reason for the high death rates in rural areas. These roads are typically poorly designed, and have inadequate safety aids. For instance, a rural road in Missouri is much more likely to have inadequate shoulders and narrow lanes. There are more sharp curves and steep pavement drop-offs and slopes. Rural roads in Missouri may be designed with limited clear zones along the roadside.

Additionally, many rural roads in the state suffer from a lack of maintenance. Illumination may be poor, and signs may be damaged. Also, because so many of Missouri’s roads have been built over the years, they have some very inconsistent design features that take drivers unawares and increase the risks of an accident. Poor design is the reason why so many fatal accidents on Missouri’s rural roads involve vehicles going off the road.
Another very important factor in these high death rates on Missouri’s rural roads is the inadequate emergency response times in these areas. Rural roads have lower access to trauma care which can help a person survive after a serious accident.