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Report: Rural Fatalities More Likely to Involve Trucks

December 28, 2005

A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study found that fatalities are more likely on rural roads than urban roads, and that those fatalities are more likely to involve trucks, according to report, “Contrasting Rural and Urban Fatal Crashes: 1994-2003,” which is an update of a 1996 study, used Fatality Analysis Reporting System data to find that 42 percent more fatal crashes happen on rural roads than urban, despite an average of fewer vehicle miles traveled on country roads. In addition, the report found that rural fatalities also have a greater likelihood of rollovers and multiple deaths, and that large trucks were involved in 37 percent of fatal crashes, compared to only 6 percent in urban areas. Light trucks, meanwhile, were involved in 10 percent of fatal crashes in rural areas, compared to only 6 percent in urban areas.The NHTSA also found that rural roads with 55 mph signs posted and urban streets with 35 mph signs posted have more fatal crashes than roads with any other speed limit, and that head-on crashes are more likely in rural areas.
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