Deadly crashes peak in city streets, now more than on country roads

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There are now more deaths on the country’s urban streets than on rural roads, and speed is a major reason why. Speeding offenses naturally occur on all types of roads, but urban roads are responsible for a disproportionate number of road deaths due to speeding. Of the nearly 9,500 fatal road accidents in 2019 where speeding was cited as a factor, 54% took place on urban roads.

Those are the key findings of new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a nonprofit research and education association that found that urban road deaths now outnumber those on rural roads.

“We’ve seen an alarming increase in the number and rate of fatalities on urban roads over the past decade,” Woon Kim, a senior researcher at the AAA Foundation, told TBEN as those on rural roads have plateaued or settled down. are in a downward spiral. tendency.”

Researchers for the study “Traffic Fatalities on Urban Roads and Streets in relation to Speed ​​Limits and Speeding, United States, 2010-2019,” used data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, a national count of fatal traffic accidents .

Before 2015, there were more road deaths in rural areas than in urban areas, but researchers found that between 2010 and 2019, the number of road deaths in urban areas increased by 34%, while the number of road deaths in rural areas decreased by 10%. The number of fatalities in cities exceeded the number of fatalities in rural areas in 2016; in 2019, 19,595 people were killed in urban locations compared to 16,340 in rural areas.

“Many urban streets in metropolitan areas are busier, with a mix of road users such as motorists, pedestrians and cyclists,” said David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation, in a statement. “Add speed to that and these locations become more dangerous. When navigating urban streets, every user must exercise caution, pay attention to road conditions and follow traffic laws.”

Highlights from the report:

The recent spike in deaths is remarkable, as more than 70% of the 4 million miles of public access roads in the United States are rural, according to the report, and the upward trend in urban accident projections is expected to increase as the number of people and miles driven in the city increase areas.

To read the full study, click here.