Traffic Safety on Rural Roads

Updated April 2017

Rural roads carry less than half of America’s traffic yet they account for over half of the nation’s vehicular deaths.  In 2015, there were 35,092 traffic fatalities. Rural areas accounted for 53 percent of the fatal crashes and 54 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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