For many drivers in West Virginia, rural roads are not the most familiar types of roads that they have to navigate. This lack of familiarity and experience may wind up raising their risk for a crash whenever they do travel such roads. The fact is that rural roads are often more dangerous than urban roads.

First, rural roads are notorious for having narrow lanes and shoulders. These factor into numerous head-on collisions as well as run-off road crashes. Second, such roads are not well-lit, posing a challenge to night drivers. Third, both wildlife and domestic animals can dart across the road and cause inattentive drivers to lose control of their car. Fourth, those who crash in rural areas won’t have the quickest access to medical care.

The scarcity of police officers in rural areas, whether real or perceived, can embolden drivers to be reckless. Many will speed, straddle both lanes of a two-lane road, drive while intoxicated and forgo wearing their seatbelt. Such behavior puts themselves and others at risk.

This is where defensive driving comes into play. Drivers, whether on rural or urban roads, should never depend on other drivers doing the right thing. They should rather be alert and prepared for the worst at all times.

Even when they are cautious and following all the traffic laws, drivers may be involved in motor vehicle accidents. In this state, crash victims who are less than 50% at fault can file a claim and be eligible for compensatory damages. With a lawyer by their side, they may be able to achieve a fair out-of-court settlement with the defendant’s auto insurance company. This settlement may cover economic and non-economic damages like medical expenses, pain and suffering and income lost during the physical recovery.