According to the Federal Highway Administration, over 6 million lane-miles are in rural areas, and more than two-thirds of these rural roads are owned and operated by local entities. In 2008, 56 percent of highway fatalities occurred in rural areas. Rural areas face a number of highway safety challenges. Data is the foundation of any roadway safety improvement program and often this is lacking, especially in local rural areas.
This document was developed to provide data collection and analysis techniques as well as other processes applicable to the local practitioner to help improve the safety of local rural roads. The information will acquaint local practitioners – regardless of background or experience level – with the sources, calculations, tools, and methods to make data-supported decisions regarding local rural road safety.