Traffic Safety on Rural Roads

Traffic Safety on Rural Roads

rural roadUpdated February 2014

Rural roads carry less than half of America’s traffic yet they account for over half of the nation’s vehicular deaths.  In 2006, there were 38,588 fatal crashes resulting in 42,642 deaths. Rural areas accounted for 55 percent of the fatal crashes and 56 percent of the fatalities.  Human behavior, roadway environment, vehicles and medical care after crashes have been identified as four factors that contribute to deaths on rural roads.  Overall, there are more crashes attributed to speeding and alcohol and less seatbelt usage among rural drivers.  State and local governments, and the U.S. Department of Transportation are taking initiatives to focus on rural traffic safety and develop ways to reduce fatalities on the 6 million lane-miles of rural roads in America. 

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