Thursday, January 17, 2019

New report shows rural-urban divide in speed-related traffic fatalities

GHSA chart; click to enlarge it
A new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association quantifies rural-urban differences in speed-related car crash deaths. Here are some of the highlights from Speeding Away from Zero: Rethinking a Forgotten Traffic Safety Challenge:

  • Speeding-related traffic fatalities account for about a third of all U.S. road deaths. In 2017 there were 9,717 speeding-related fatalities in the U.S. 
  • Speeding fatalities are associated with behaviors such as driving under the influence, not using a seatbelt, driving conditions, and the way the road is built/maintained.
  • Curvy roads--which are more common in rural areas--are a frequent factor in speeding-related crashes. A higher percentage of fatal curve-related crashes happen on rural roads.
  • Fatal speeding-related crashes happen most often on non-interstate roads in both rural and urban areas, but total fatality rates on rural roads are more than twice that of urban roads. 
  • Non-interstate rural roads have the highest incidence of speeding-related fatalities, which could be because of several factors: higher incidence of curved roads, higher speed limits, longer distances to drive with less traffic, less traffic enforcement, fewer traffic calming features (such as rumble strips), and fewer pedestrians and bicyclists. 
  • In 2016 there were 5,013 speeding related fatalities on all rural roadways compared to 4,660 on urban roadways (interstate and non-interstate).

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