Rural areas experienced more crash fatalities in 2011: study

Washington – Although fewer people lived in rural areas than urban areas in 2011, the majority of roadway crash fatalities occurred in rural areas, according to a new report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis compared rates of crashes and fatalities in urban and rural areas and found:

  • Rural areas, in which 19 percent of the U.S. population resided in 2011, accounted for 54 percent of fatal crashes (16,053) and 55 percent of all crash fatalities (17,762).
  • The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2011 was 2.5 times higher in rural areas (1.82) than urban areas (0.73).
  • Speeding was cited as a contributing factor in 31 percent of crash fatalities in rural areas in 2011 (5,572) and 30 percent of crash fatalities in urban areas (4,327).