New Report Finds Rural Roads Disproportionately Account For Nearly Half of All Deadly Crashes

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New Report Finds Rural Roads Disproportionately Account For Nearly Half of All Deadly Crashes

Stillman & Friedland

2 min read

According to a new report by the Governors Highway Safety Association, nearly half of all deadly auto crashes in the United States occurred on rural roadways. The study looked at the years between 2016 and 2020 and found that “the risk of dying in a crash was 62% higher on a rural road than an urban road for the same trip length.” These numbers are alarming, considering that less than 20% of the population lives in rural areas of the country.

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Tennessee Rural Roads Accidents

The numbers in Tennessee show a similar pattern, revealing that over 40% of all crash deaths occurred in rural regions. While there are numerous reasons for these skewed statistics, the most prevalent ones include:

  • Fewer traffic control signals, devices, and signs in rural areas
  • Increased animal and pedestrian activity
  • The frequency of roadway upkeep and maintenance is not as prevalent as it is in urban/highway areas
  • Longer transit times for emergency vehicles and first responders to reach accident scenes

Common-Sense Safety Precautions

Lastly, and most importantly, driver complacency and familiarity on hometown roads can create a false sense of safety for drivers, increasing the temptation of speeding and distracted driving.

A TDOT spokesperson recommended some common-sense safety precautions to avoid rural-area wrecks, which include buckling up, slowing down, and using high beams and/or fog lights at night. In addition, implementing safe driving practices will go a long way to ensure increased safety for you and your loved ones when driving off the beaten path.


If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident on a rural roadway or anywhere else within the State of Tennessee, contact our Nashville-based office at 615-244-2111 for a free and confidential consultation. We will be happy to review your case at no cost to you.

Stay safe out there.

Because we care…

Stillman & Friedland Attorneys