There is no question that riding in urban environments is dangerous. However, don’t be fooled by the tranquil settings and pleasant scenery of rural areas. Studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that rural roads are more dangerous and cause more fatalities per mile driven than urban roads. If you don’t have experience riding in the country, look for these three rural hazards that cause motorcycle accidents:
Poor Road Maintenance
Not all rural roads are properly maintained. This will depend on the town and its available tax revenue. In such areas you will have to scan the road surface more carefully for pot holes, cracks, and bumps, especially while cornering and braking. Other problems include damaged, defaced, and missing road signs as well as damaged guard rails. Foliage can cover up yield signs and stop signs.
Poor Road Design
Highways in some areas are too narrow to safely accommodate their posted speed limits. Curves in the road can be blind or poorly banked while shoulders are non-existent. Road surfaces may change from pavement to gravel or dirt with little or no warning. Some roads may lack road markings such as passing and no-passing lines. This exposes you to head-on collisions with oncoming traffic on curves and hills. Poorly planned intersections can take you by surprise because of vision obstructions or extreme steepness of the road grade. Sometimes intersections occur at blind corners or hills, making it impossible to safely ride through them.
Animal crossings are one type of hazard you rarely (if ever) encounter in the city. However, rural areas are full of wildlife. They occur in a wide range of sizes, but one of the more common of these are deer. Deer are unpredictable, social, and active at night. If you see one on or off the road, expect others nearby. They are especially dangerous at night because the absence of lighting make them nearly impossible to see. Some local motorcyclists avoid night riding altogether because of this danger.
If you or someone close to you were injured in a motorcycle accident on a rural road because of the actions of another motorist, or because of substandard road maintenance or design, contact us.