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West Virginia roads are more dangerous than the song claims

John Denver fans continue to enjoy the tunes of the country-music singing icon, born as Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. in 1943 and laid to rest in 1997. One of his biggest hits of all time focused on the country roads of West Virginia although modern motorists might say these roadways are anything but the peaceful, calm, rambling lanes the song makes them out to be. In fact, well over 200 of the 337 fatal car accidents in the state in 2011 occurred on rural roads.  

Then again, you can't always control what happens on the road. In fact, you can act as safely as possible, and if all other motorists in your vicinity fail to do the same, disaster may strike when you least expect it.  

Keep these things in mind to help you avoid car accidents 

Whether you plan to travel one of the many beautiful back roads of West Virginia or a heavily traffic-laden commuter highway, being aware of the following potential problems might help you avoid a collision: 

Parking lot danger: Many people travel back roads in this state so they can stop off at various antique malls and quaint roadside sales they find along the way. However, the gravel and dirt parking lots associated with these places often see a number of car accidents. Motorists must remain alert and on the lookout for other vehicles, not to mention any children or other pedestrians that might roam the area.  

Excessive speed: Of course, every motorist is obligated to adhere to traffic regulations, including but not limited to posted speed limits. It's no secret, though, that many drivers travel far above such limits, thus placing themselves and you at risk for serious collisions.  

Distracted drivers: In addition to drunk drivers, those who allow themselves to get distracted while driving are menaces to the roadway. Statistics from 2013 show that distracted driving incidents resulted in more than 3,000 vehicular collision deaths throughout the nation.  

Not quite drunk driving: Just because your blood alcohol content level registers below the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle doesn't mean you should. Many motorists' hand-eye coordination, other cognitive skills and reaction times become impaired with lower levels of alcohol in their bloodstreams.  

West Virginia undoubtedly remains one of the most beautiful states in the nation. It offers a wide variety of outdoor adventure for tourists and full-time residents. Country roads can be deceiving, however. Danger often lurks on blind bends of dirt roads and uncontrolled intersections. Your Sunday afternoon drive in the country might lead to a motor vehicle crash if a negligent or reckless driver shares the road with you.  

If a negligent driver smashes into your vehicle, the highest priority is obviously obtaining needed medical attention. Beyond that, however, you will more than likely face other needs in the weeks or months that follow, such as financial support to pay medical expenses and make up for wages you lose at work during recovery. Many car accident survivors consult with experienced attorneys in such circumstances to learn more about the process of filing personal injury claims in court.

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