Low population, high risk: Why Ohios rural roads pose unique dangers

On the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s 2009 map of fatal vehicle crashes, collisions are marked with various shapes indicating the number of people who died in the accident. Those little stars, squares, and circles are spread just about evenly across our state, a grim illustration of the fact that Ohio’s cities aren’t the only places tragedy strikes. In fact, some rural areas have proportionally worse accident statistics than the congested cities.

Pike County recorded a population of 27,695 in 2008 and in that year saw 6 fatalities and 348 injuries from vehicle crashes, while suburban Lake County, with a population roughly eight times as large, saw only 13 traffic fatalities and 1814 injuries.

Unfortunately, reckless and negligent drivers are everywhere, but rural accidents may have deadlier outcomes because emergency services may be unavailable, or may have to travel long distances to reach the crash site.

Rural drivers also share narrow, rough roads with dump trucks, farm vehicles, livestock haulers, and coal trucks, a situation that can turn deadly when the drivers of these massive machines lose focus, or if trucks are overloaded or improperly balanced.

A recent study on a stretch of I-70 in Belmont County showed that tractor-trailers hauling hazardous materials passed by every 35 seconds. Now that speed limits have been raised to 65 miles per hour for large trucks on Ohio interstates, more trucks with dangerous cargo are likely to barrel down that same stretch of interstate at even higher speeds.

Of course, urban drivers also face dangers on the road, but seriously injured accident victims in places like Coalton and Rutland face additional challenges accessing medical care, transportation, and dedicated and experienced injury lawyers.

We at Chester Law Group Co., LPA want rural Ohioans to know that we understand where they’re coming from. We extend our sincerest sympathy to the seriously injured victims of rural road accidents and to the families of people who have been killed by reckless and negligent drivers on Ohio’s rural routes.

Our farmers and rural laborers have been hit especially hard by the struggling economy, and it is even more important in times like these that honest, hardworking people in Ohio have access to legal services in their time of need, whether they live in Cleveland or New Riegel.

If you live in Ohio and have been seriously injured, or if a loved one has been killed, due to the negligence or recklessness of another person, please contact Chester Law Group co., LPA.