The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently published their findings and comparison of rural and urban traffic fatalities. The NHTSA analyzed data regarding fatal crashes in urban and rural areas and a variety of factors including time of day, speed, alcohol, restraint use, rollover crashes, driver characteristics and non-occupants. They found that although only about 19 percent of the U.S. population lives in rural areas, fatal crashes on these roadways account for nearly half of all fatal wrecks on U.S. roadways. Listed below are some of the findings on traffic crash fatalities in urban and rural areas.

The Data on Rural/Urban Traffic Fatalities

  • In 2015, 49 percent of all traffic fatalities occurred in rural areas.
  • 44 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2015 happened in urban areas.
  • An additional seven percent of traffic fatalities happened in unknown areas in 2015.
  • Although an estimated 19 percent of the U.S. population lives in rural areas, traffic fatalities in rural areas account for nearly half of all deaths on U.S. roadways.
  • In 2015, the fatality rate per 100 million vehicles traveled was 2.6 times higher in rural areas than in urban areas.

Factors Associated With Fatal Crashes in Urban and Rural Areas

The NHTSA also found that the majority of fatal crashes that happen in rural areas happen during the day, which is the opposite of urban areas, where the majority of crash fatalities happen at night. Speeding was a factor in 28 percent of rural traffic fatalities and 27 percent of urban traffic fatalities. Fifty percent of rural passenger vehicle occupants killed were unrestrained (unbuckled) at the time of the crash, and 46 percent of urban passenger vehicle occupants were unrestrained at the time of the crash. The number spikes when you look at rural crashes involving pickup trucks. 61 percent of rural pickup truck occupants killed in crashes in 2015 were unbuckled.

Rural and Urban Crashes in California

No matter what data you’re looking at crashes in rural and urban areas have one serious detail in common. They both disrupt lives. A crash can leave a victim in the hospital, out of work or worse.

If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a car accident in the city of San Diego or any of the surrounding rural or urban communities, contact the skilled and proven team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. at 1.800.GO.HARRIS.

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