Closing the gap in rural and urban road deaths

Nam P. Nguyen, Lee W. Munnich, Frank Douma

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Despite the decline in overall motor vehicle fatalities in the US, the difference between urban and rural fatality rates has stayed relatively consistent. Examination of data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System from 1994 to 2011 shows varying degrees of reductions in fatalities related to the four main causes of rural crashes (behavior, roadway environment, vehicle design, and emergency services); however in all cases, the rural fatality rates are consistently twice the magnitude of urban values. The fatality rate in 2011 for rural areas is still higher than the overall fatality rate in 1994. Future efforts to reduce traffic fatalities should focus on reducing the rural-urban fatality gap. Closing the disparity will require strategies that include adopting proven legislation-based safety improvement measures (LSIMs); state leadership and allocation of resources to the local level; local level interest and involvement; innovative integration of all 4 E's (engineering, enforcement, education, emergency response) of traffic safety; and collaborative inter-agency and public-private participation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRoad and Traffic Safety
Subtitle of host publicationPractices, Role of Human Behavior and Effective Programs
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781634631464
ISBN (Print)9781634631150
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


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