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More on the deadliness of rural roads from National Public Radio’s Howard Berkes. Or maybe not.
Berkes reported Sunday that National Highway Transportation Administration statistics found that 56% of the country’s traffic fatalities take place on rural roads. (Rural America is home to 23% of the population.) Berkes returns Tuesday to add more information.
It turns out that the deadliness of rural roads depends on your definition of rural.
He quotes the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s John Cromartie as saying that if you include only towns of less than 2,500 and the space in between, then “rural” fatalities drop to just 27% of the total.
And the NHTSA released a report Monday finding that it’s really the area just outside of urban areas that are the most deadly. The agency finds that 86% of traffic deaths occur in cities and in the first 10 miles of rural roads outside of cities. Read Howard’s story here. He concludes by finding that, yes, rural roads (or is it rural drivers) are still more deadly than those in the cities.