According to the Center for Excellence in Rural Safety at the University of Minnesota, more people die each year in rural roadway accidents than in urban settings. As you might expect, there are indeed more crashes in cities than in the country, but those accidents are less likely to be fatal.

Like numbers? The NHTSA says that 56 percent of the 37,261 traffic deaths in the United States last year occurred on rural roads, though only about 23 percent of the population lives in rural areas. Why? It seems that drivers are more likely to be traveling at high rates of speed in rural areas and those roadways are often not as well engineered as those in the city. Further, drunk driving is more common in rural areas and seat belts are worn less frequently. Finally, it takes emergency workers more time to reach rural accident locations.

Next logical question: What do we do about it? South Carolina – which posted the highest percentage of rural traffic deaths last year – is focusing on rumble strips, grooves and raised patterns to alert drivers they may be leaving the pavement. In Montana, engineers are adding under- and overpasses to allow animals a clear path to cross the roads. Other states are starting new safety campaigns to encourage the use of seat belts. We offer another suggestion: flying cars.

[Source: USA Today]

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