National Center for Rural Road Safety
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What’s Unique About Rural Road Safety?

#RRSAW2022 Day 1: What’s Unique About Rural Road Safety?

What's Unique about rural road safety? | Rural Road Safety Awareness Week 2022 | National Center for Rural Road Safety

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Rural communities are part of the fabric of America, but they have special road safety challenges in those parts.

  • Travel modes: Rural roads are home to modes of travel that don’t mosey through urban areas as much. Farming machinery, Utility Terrain Vehicles, snowmobiles, motorcycles, and RVs – even horse and buggy – join cars, trucks, vans, bicyclists, and others on our nation’s 2.9 million miles of rural roadways.
  • Infrastructure and terrain: Rural agencies typically have more lane miles to manage and monitor. The infrastructure and countryside are different too. Rurals deal with unpaved roads, blind curves, inadequate lighting, challenging topography, narrow shoulders, and other challenges.
  • Overrepresentation of severe crashes: And even though just 19 percent of the country live in rural areas, roughly 45 percent of fatal crashes happen out there. In May, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that an estimated 42,915 people died in crashes last year. For rural roads, that’s more than 21,000 lives lost.

There’s only one question left: In this unique road setting, how can rural roads become safe for all road users?

It’s a wild question that will be addressed on Day 2 of Rural Road Safety Awareness Week – the Safe System Approach for Rural Roads.


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