Just in time for the most dangerous days of the year to drive – July 3 and 4 – the national Center for Excellence in Rural Safety (CERS) at the University of Minnesota today released a list of the states where Americans are more likely to die in a traffic crash on a rural road.
For most people, riding in a motor vehicle is one of the most dangerous things they ever do, and this is particularly true when traveling on rural roads. While U.S. Census figures show that about two out of ten (21 percent) Americans live in rural areas, the U.S. Department of Transportation has found that about six out of ten (57 percent) highway deaths happen on roads that it considers rural. “Millions of Americans will be driving this holiday weekend, and they would be wise to carefully consider these findings before they do,” said CERS Director Lee Munnich, Jr., of the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. “America’s rural byways seem so tranquil and safe, but the reality is that they can be as lethal as they are lovely.”
The states with the highest proportion of their total traffic fatalities occurring on rural roads are:
1) Maine (92%) 13) New Hampshire (75%)
2) North Dakota (90%) 13) Idaho (75%)
3) South Dakota (89%) 13) Kentucky (75%)
4) Iowa (88%) 14) Oklahoma (73%)
4) Vermont (88%) 15) Minnesota (72%)
5) Montana (86%) 15) Missouri (72%)
6) Wyoming (84%) 16) Oregon (72%)
7) South Carolina (83%) 17) Alaska (71%)
8) Mississippi (82%) 18) Wisconsin (68%)
9) Arkansas (81%) 18) North Carolina (68%)
10) West Virginia (80%) 19) Utah (66%)
11) Kansas (78%) 19) Louisiana (66%)
12) Nebraska (77%) 20) Alabama (65%)
The state-by-state rural fatalities data reflects deaths on rural roads in 2005 and was compiled by CERS researchers using information from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Rural roads are identified as those located outside of areas with a population of 5,000 or more. The entire list is available at www.ruralsafety.umn.edu.
Traveling America’s roads is particularly dangerous this time of year. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the top two days of the year for motor vehicle fatalities over the years 1986-2002 have been July 3 and July 4.
There are many reasons for America’s high rate of rural crash deaths. Head-on collisions and driving off the road crashes — both of which are disproportionately deadly — are common on the two-lane, undivided highways prevalent in rural areas. Rural roads, with lighter traffic and pleasant scenery, can easily lull drivers into a false sense of security. An over-relaxed comfort level can lead to motorists driving at unsafe speeds, distracted, fatigued, unbelted or impaired, all of which increase the likelihood of a crash. Additionally, emergency response time to a rural crash and hospital transport can be lengthy and thus jeopardize survival rate. Crash victims are five to seven times more likely to die from their injuries unless they arrive at a trauma center in the first half-hour following the crash.
“All states need to improve rural highway safety, but the issue is particularly pressing in these states,” said Munnich. “Fortunately, there’s much that can be done to prevent future deaths.”
CERS works to raise awareness of the problem of rural road fatalities, and advocate policy changes impacting road design and driver behavior. For instance, CERS advocates state adoption of primary seat belt laws, which allow law enforcement officers to pull people over for not using their seat belts. States that enact primary seat belt laws have increased their seat belt usage rates dramatically, by an average of 14 percent, which in turn reduces the number of injuries and deaths.
“This is a public health issue we must take much more seriously,” said Munnich. “In 2005, 23,549 Americans died on rural roadways. We are right to focus significant attention and resources on preventing things like AIDS, SARS, e coli poisoning, and skin cancer, but we can’t forget that this public health problem is even more deadly.”
David Ruth | EurekAlert!
Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
27.06.2017 | Information Technology
27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy