Rural Roads and Car Accident Injuries

By Sokoloff Lawyers
Rural Roads and Car Accident Injuries

In 2013, Transport Canada released a report on collision statistics and stated that there were 976 fatal collisions on rural roads, compared to 742 fatal collisions on urban roadways. While it is important to understand why a fatal crash would happen anywhere, it is worth investigating why so many people are being seriously injured (and killed in some instances) on rural roads.


What is a ‘rural road,’ exactly?


It is important to consider how Transport Canada defines a ‘rural road,’ especially when compared to an ‘urban road.’ A rural road is classified as a primary or secondary highway, a local road, or a site where the speed limit exceeds 60 km/h. On the other hand, urban roads are understood as sites where the speed limit is below 60 km/h, and consists of metropolitan roads and streets. The immediate thing we can discern from this is that car accident injuries are simply more likely to be fatal on rural roads, because the definition of a rural road encompasses a much larger amount of space. Canada is a large nation, and those statistics may be born more from space rather than pure accident potential.


How could rural roadways be more dangerous, though?


While it might be fair to dismiss the idea of more fatal collisions occurring as a matter of space, it is still important to consider the inherent dangers of rural roadways. Car accident injuries, especially fatal ones, are far more likely to occur in spaces where the conditions are simply more conducive to accidents. Rural roadways often, but not always, lack the infrastructure of metropolitan areas (in particular secondary highways and county roads). When the infrastructure isn’t as strong or safe, especially during winter months when conditions are not optimal (especially at high speeds), serious accidents are more likely to occur. At the same time, whenever you raise the speed limit you are risking more drivers willing to take chances and drive at potentially severe speeds. This combination of a precarious environment and more dangerous drivers can often be a recipe for disaster.


How do you stay safe on rural roads?


The most important piece of advice that you can receive when learning about road safety on rural roads is that the speed limit is related to optimal road conditions (clear visibility, dry conditions, etc.). This means that if you are hitting the road, especially one with a high speed limit, you should only follow that guideline if the conditions are exactly right. If it’s wintertime, raining, or anything else, you will need to adjust your speed accordingly. This advice alone can prevent serious/fatal car accident injuries for many drivers.


Contacting a Toronto Personal Injury Lawyer


Toronto is surrounded by major roadways, with various speed limits and countless drivers at any time of day. If you find yourself dealing with serious car accident injuries, you will want to ensure that you understand your legal options and contact legal professionals with the experience to handle your case. While you shouldn’t feel threatened on the road to begin with, you should definitely retain a legal team that can help you in case of an unforeseen emergency.