Bring An Equalizer to the Fight. Choose a Firm That Was Created to Advocate for Victims.

Are California's Rural Roads Some of the Country's Most Dangerous?

As 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 13 percent.

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.