Why Are Traffic Deaths Higher on Rural Roads?

At Kustom Signals, our goal is to provide law enforcement officers and agencies with the best tools and equipment. The police force needs high-tech solutions to slow down speeding drivers and deter distracted driving behavior. As laws change, so do these methods of detecting and deterring dangerous types of driving behavior.

Traffic death trends are a critical consideration in improving public safety. Recently, there has been an unfortunate uptick in traffic deaths on rural roads. It is important to find out the primary reasons for this, and for individual enforcement agencies to determine if these factors are causing high rates of traffic deaths on the rural roads they patrol.

Nearly Half of Traffic Deaths in the US Are on Rural Roads

The latest highlighted report by the Governors Highway Safety Association is titled America’s Rural Roads: Beautiful and Deadly. The report states that 48 percent–nearly half–of all US traffic deaths happen on rural roads. These are the same roads with far fewer drivers, so what is the reason? It can’t be due to heavy traffic as only 19 percent of the US population over 18 live in rural areas.

“A lack of access to public transit, scarcer law enforcement, and reduced access to nearby medical care contribute to more risky behavior and more deadly crashes on rural roads,” states Planetizen, as of September 2022. Here are a few of the reasons why certain areas of the US have become more dangerous for drivers in rural areas.

Lack of Proper Lighting

In rural areas, there are fewer resources and a lack of individuals in sparsely populated areas. As a result, not all streets have street lamps or lights on buildings. There might not be any red lights on the roads at all, as is the case with many rural towns in the Dakotas. This means there is a higher chance that pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists will be hit by a vehicle due to not being seen by the driver.

Not Wearing a Seatbelt 

Rural towns are notorious for being lax about wearing seatbelts. This is associated with the use of tractors, lawnmowers, and ATVs for personal modes of transportation, which adds to the character of a rural town. However, not wearing seatbelts is dangerous for those driving and riding in a vehicle. If you are hit or rear-ended, you are less likely to be safe from flying through the windshield upon impact.

Deer and Other Wildlife 

Wildlife is more prevalent in rural areas where there are fewer street lamps and houses and more acres to roam. As a result, drivers have to be careful of deer and other animals running out in front of their vehicles.

Speeding Kills

Rural roads are less patrolled compared to city streets, as there are fewer drivers who are on them. Unchecked drivers are more likely to speed, resulting in car accidents that may lead to fatalities. In many cases, drivers are simply unaware of speed limits in remote areas and fail to pay attention to their own vehicle’s speed.

Order RADAR Speed Trailers and Displays

Kustom Signals offers several RADAR products that help reduce traffic deaths on rural roads. These include RADAR speed trailers and RADAR speed displays, which are an effective and affordable way to provide a law enforcement presence in a speed-risk area, without having to deploy officers. The presence of speed displays reminds drivers of the speed limit while also making them aware of how fast they are actually driving. 

RADAR speed displays can operate on a rechargeable battery or through solar power and mount where you want to reduce speeding. Choose between a portable, pole-mounted display and a permanent, pole-mounted display. RADAR speed trailers are stand-alone units that scan for speeding vehicles 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

When speed awareness products are used in conjunction with traffic data collection tools, law enforcement finds it very beneficial in helping to identify periods of time where enforcement is needed. This way, the police can focus their limited speed enforcement resources when and where they are most needed.

Request a quote to start efforts to make your rural roads a safer place for drivers.

Categories : Urban Policing

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