San Diego personal injury attorneys, we are concerned that a national study recently found California’s
rural roads to be some of the most dangerous roads in the country. While
it may seem counterintuitive, the study, conducted by the nonprofit transportation
research group TRIP, concluded that traffic fatalities on the nation’s
rural roads occur at a rate more than
three times higher than all other roads.
Nationwide, accidents on rural roads resulted in 17,075 fatalities in 2009,
accounting for more than half of the nation’s 33,808 traffic deaths
in 2009. In California, there were 1,164 rural non-Interstate traffic
deaths in 2009, the second highest in the country. The study also found
that the rate of California’s rural non-Interstate traffic fatalities
per 100 million miles of travel in 2009 was 2.86, compared to 0.68 for
all other roads.
The study also notes that while fatality rates on all roads have decreased
in recent years, the drop in the fatality rate on rural roads has lagged
behind. From 2000 to 2009, the fatality rate on all roads, excluding non-Interstate
rural roads, decreased by 28. However, during the same timeframe, the
traffic fatality rate on rural, non-Interstate routes declined by only
According to the study, inadequate roadway safety design, longer emergency
vehicle response times, and the higher speeds traveled on rural roads
compared to urban roads all contribute to the higher fatality rates found
on rural routes.