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!
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences