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If you have ever driven down one of North Carolina’s many rural roadways, you know how thrilling the experience can be. After all, few things are better than looking at the countryside without seeing buildings and other obstructions. Still, rural roads can be treacherous for drivers in the Tar Heel State.

In 2015, nearly 65% of all traffic fatalities in North Carolina happened on rural roadways. Only in two states, Texas and California, were rural roads deadlier that year. Whether you frequently or only occasionally drive in the country, you must understand why rural roads often are dangerous places for motorists. 

A perceived lack of danger 

When you drive in the city, you expect to encounter buses, trains, cars and pedestrians. That may not be the case on stretches of rural roadways, though. While rural roads are not as busy as urban ones, you may have a collision with a car you do not expect to see. Said differently, you cannot let a perceived lack of danger lull you into a false sense of security. 

Missing road signs 

In some rural areas, curves, intersections and other driving obstacles do not have proper signage. As such, if you are not paying attention, you may have an automobile accident. Accordingly, you should reduce your speed when driving in unfamiliar places. 

Loose or uneven surfaces 

While concrete or asphalt make up most urban roadways, rural ones may be gravel or dirt. Your car may behave differently on loose or uneven surfaces than it does on paved roads. That is, you may lose control of your car, truck or SUV when trying to drive on an unpaved surface. 

If you live in a rural setting, you probably have to drive greater distances. You do not, though, want to have a wreck. By understanding why rural roads are often hazardous for drivers, you can better plan for staying safe every time you climb behind the wheel.