Kentucky has a lot of beautiful countryside and smaller country roads to go with it. But, when does one type of road stop and the other start? A rural or country road has low traffic volume and is identified by having one or two lanes. The purpose is to serve local and residential uses. Sometimes legacy roads or smaller roads that were established a long time ago to serve farmers or residents are turned into country lanes over time.
Truck drivers can have a harder time on back roads. We take a closer look at how these streets are dangerous and what you can do if you’ve been injured in an accident.
Why do we have rural roads?
We need country roads for transportation reasons. It helps people to get their homes, school, and work. They serve over a million different purposes every year. If the state of Kentucky was to declare a national state of emergency due to harsh weather conditions or something of the like, these back roads are going to be the way out. That being said, it's also needed for emergency responders to help with the evacuation.
Are rural roads more dangerous than urban roads?
In many ways, the answer is yes. City roads often come with plenty of lights, markers, and navigational signs. It's obvious what is going to happen and when. Rural roads are the opposite. Reports show that 60% of fatal crashes involving large farm trucks, delivery trucks, or 18-wheelers occur on country roads. In 2016, on rural roads, there were roughly 19,000 deaths per one million miles. Most of the occupants were large truck drivers.
Why are these roads dangerous?
They lack proper barriers
Interstates and highways are going to have safety barriers. Something that's often missed on rural streets. A head-on collision is much more likely without these safety processes in place.
A big issue for back roads is potholes and cracks. Sometimes the lanes aren't appropriately constructed or with much care. The weight of heavy vehicles and the friction of their tires break down the asphalt at a much quicker rate. But, sometimes cities overlook repairs because of the "low" traffic volume.
There aren't any lights
Delivery drivers or truck drivers using rural streets at night are at a disadvantage. These pathways aren't correctly lit like the interstate making it much more challenging to see curves or hills. Tree-lined streets block out any light from the moon, making the area more challenging to navigate.
People don't take proper precautions
Some people believe they don't need to be as careful on rural streets. They often exceed the speed limit or overtake cars when they shouldn't because it's thought they won't get caught. Reckless driving like this increases the chances of an accident.
Roads are more challenging to drive
Kentuckians will know that our back roads are beautiful but involve a lot of hills and steep curves. With only two lanes to work with, it can be hard to feel safe. Some drivers like to inch into the other lane. While it might make them feel safe, it's dangerous as a larger truck can hit them.
Have you been injured in a car accident in Kentucky? Call Bart Durham today.
Who is responsible for making these roads safe?
Government agencies service most roadways. It's not uncommon for more than one agency to be in charge of repairs. Anyone from your city, county, and state office can come out and fix potholes or cracks. If you were in a trucking accident due to poor road conditions, it's critical to find out which agency is responsible for the repairs. Once you do, you can then decide whether or not a lawsuit can be brought against them.
Can I sue an agency for my trucking accident?
A lot of government agencies are immune to lawsuits, but there are exceptions to the rules. Sometimes negligence (failing to maintain proper care of the roads) is that exception. You'll want to speak to a Kentucky injury lawyer to get more information on whether or not you have a case.
I was injured in a multi-vehicle accident in Kentucky. Can I get financial compensation for my injuries?
Kentucky is a "no-fault" state. Most car insurances require you to use your own insurance to cover any medical bills because of injury. There are exceptions to the rule if your bills exceed over a thousand dollars or the collision caused disfigurement. Breaking a leg could be classified as such.
However, if you are seeking coverage for repairs to your vehicle, you do not have to meet any requirement. Kentucky allows drivers to file lawsuits if they are seeking financial assistance to cover damage.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer in Kentucky
Kentucky car insurance laws can be hard to navigate. You'll want to work with a trusted personal injury lawyer who knows Kentucky's laws. Contact the offices of Bart Durham. We offer free consultations to help us learn more about your accident and confirm you have a case. Contact us below to schedule today.