Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Most road deaths rural; Web site shows locations

Researchers in the Center for Excellence in Rural Safety at the University of Minnesota are unveiling a Web site to detail the location of every fatal road accident in the U.S. in 2006. It is intended to help drivers locate unsafe roads more quickly, ScienceDaily reports."This tool sheds light on the importance of strong public policy that helps save lives in states across the nation," CERS Director Lee Munnich says. "When you can visually see how many lives can be saved, it really changes how the public and policy makers see our roads."

The tool is intended to educate the public, especially those living in rural areas, about road fatalities. According to the U.S. Census Bureau 21 percent of Americans live in rural areas and the Federal Highway Administration reports that 57 percent of highway deaths happen on rural roads. The site's interactive maps will serve rural and urban drivers as well as drivers education teachers, parents and policy makers. "By mapping out these fatalities, we can visually see what a large problem we have in our country," Munnich says." It is time to start working towards prevention and each one of thee dots on the map represents that." (Read more)

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