What Drivers Need to Know About Car Crashes on Rural Roads in Ontario

ambulance heading down roadMany drivers would gladly trade the heavy traffic and delays of city roads for rural roads. That said, drivers should not let the lack of traffic or monotonous scenery fool them, rural roads can be incredibly dangerous.

Below, Greg Monforton and Partners discusses the dangers of rural roads, including the types of accidents that often occur and what drivers can do to reduce their risk of a collision. If you have been injured in a collision on a rural road, you can call our firm to find out if you may be eligible to seek compensation.

Our Windsor auto accident lawyers have taken on countless car crash cases, helping victims hold negligent drivers accountable and securing compensation for medical care and other damages.

Zero upfront costs or fees. We do not get paid unless you recover compensation. Call (866) 320-4770.

What Are the Main Risks of Driving on Rural Roads?

You may be at higher risk of a crash on rural roads compared to urban roads. These are some of the main reasons why:

  • Less visibility: Sharp curves, hills that you cannot see over and foliage that has not been maintained can make it much harder to see oncoming traffic and wildlife. These are some of the main reasons why you need to exercise additional caution on rural roads. You do not want to be in a hurry, because you may fail to take steps that could reduce the risk of a collision.
  • Poor road conditions: Rural roads may not be as well-maintained as roads in urban areas. This is often because rural roads do not get nearly as much traffic as urban roads. For example, some rural roads may be unpaved or have a lot of potholes. There may be loose gravel on some sections of a rural road. You should also be prepared for uneven surfaces and a lack of markings on the road to help direct traffic.
  • Fewer signs, signals and streetlights: Rural roads often have fewer signs, signals and streetlights, including at intersections. There may also be a lack of guardrails and pedestrian crossings. Not having additional road safety protection is dangerous no matter what time of day you are driving, but the danger is higher at night.
  • Drivers may be more likely to speed: When there is less traffic, drivers may be more likely to speed. They figure less traffic means there is less risk of a collision. Some drivers may start speeding without realizing it, as there is less traffic to make them slow down. Speeding can make poor road conditions even more hazardous.
  • You may be more likely to encounter wildlife: Wildlife may wander onto rural roads and just sit or stand there. This is especially dangerous at night, or when it happens around a corner or at the bottom of a hill. You need to be vigilant on rural roads, as you may need to slow down or move over to avoid a collision with deer or other wild animals.
  • Passing other vehicles is risky: There may be only one lane of traffic, which means you either cannot pass or you must cross into the lane for oncoming traffic. Many drivers grow impatient and try to pass without using enough caution. This puts them at risk for a potentially fatal head-on collision.
  • Drivers often use much less caution: You can encounter reckless drivers anywhere, but you may be more likely to find them on rural roads. All the space and the lack of traffic makes drivers think they do not need to worry about a collision. The empty roads may encourage dangerous behavior, like blowing through stop signs, speeding or following too closely.

One thing that drivers need to keep in mind about rural road accidents is that emergency services may be farther away. It is probably going to take them a lot longer to reach you to provide medical care. This may raise the risk of severe, long-term injuries.

What Types of Crashes Often Happen on Rural Roads?

These are some of the main types of collisions that may be more likely to occur on rural roads in Ontario:

  • Single-vehicle accidents: These often occur when a vehicle leaves the road because the driver lost control, such as on a curve or slippery surface. For example, the driver may have been speeding or distracted. These drivers could crash into trees, ditches or other hazards.
  • Animal collisions: Wildlife may cross the road unexpectedly, giving drivers little time to react. This reinforces the need to slow down and keep your eyes and mind focused on driving. Wildlife collisions can not only cause serious damage to your vehicle, they can also result in severe injuries.
  • Head-on collisions: Narrow lanes and blind curves can increase the risk of wrong-way or head-on collisions. Drivers may veer into oncoming cars on narrow roads or when trying to pass. Drivers should be extra cautious around corners and when passing. You should not pass unless you have clear visibility. Other drivers may be speeding, and you cannot count on them to use the appropriate amount of caution.
  • High-speed accidents: Speeding is common in rural areas, and it is one factor that can dramatically increase the risk of an accident, especially when combined with other risk factors like lack of visibility, poorly-maintained roads and other negligent drivers.
  • Side-impact and intersection crashes: Intersections in rural areas are often less regulated, as they have fewer signs and lights. The lack of clarity at intersections can cause confusion, making them more dangerous. This can result in right-of-way violations and unsafe turns.

How Can You Reduce Your Risk of a Dangerous Collision on a Rural Road?

While rural roads can be unpredictable, there are several things you can do to help lower your risk of an accident:

Always Stay Alert

One cardinal rule on rural roads is to expect the unexpected. Keep an eye out for wildlife, slow-moving vehicles and poor road conditions. If you are alert you will have more time to react to the unexpected.

Slow Down

Slowing down should give you more time to react to unexpected hazards, such as sharp curves, animals or slow-moving vehicles. Less traffic does not give you license to speed or be more reckless.

Leave Plenty of Space in Front of Your Vehicle

You may get irritated at being stuck behind a slower driver, but you need to leave plenty of room in front of your vehicle. This extra caution helps reduce the risk of a rear-end crash. You never know when the driver in front of you might slow down or stop because of something unexpected.

Be Careful at Intersections

Approach intersections carefully, especially when there is a lack of clear signage. Do not assume other drivers are going to stop or see you.

Consider Using Your High Beams at Night

Your high beams make it easier to see wildlife or changing road conditions. Prevention is all about giving yourself more time to react, increasing the odds of avoiding a collision.

Injured by a Reckless Driver? Call Greg Monforton and Partners Today

If the unexpected happens, Greg Monforton & Partners may be able to help you explore legal options. Contact us today to discuss your next steps.

Our lawyers have secured millions on behalf of crash victims. We represent crash victims on contingency, so there are no upfront costs.

Give us a call today: (866) 320-4770. The initial legal consultation is free.