Deadly Streets: More Car Accidents in Cities

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In recent years, there were more car accidents with fatalities in urban areas than in rural ones, and speeding was a major cause., according to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Speeding is a problem on all roads, yet urban ones experienced a greater number of speed-related fatalities. Out of the nearly 9,500 fatalities caused by speeding, 54% happened on urban roads.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a nonprofit research and education association, has recently released the results of their study, which shows that more car accidents with fatalities happen in urban areas and they have now surpassed those on rural roads.

The AAA Foundation’s senior researcher, Woon Kim, told Forbes that they have seen a worrying surge in the amount and rate of deadly accidents on metropolitan roads within the last decade, while those on country roads have stabilized or gone down.

“Many urban streets in metropolitan areas are busier, with a mix of road users such as drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists,” David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation, said. “Add in speed, and these locations grow more dangerous. When navigating urban streets, every user needs to be careful, pay attention to road conditions and follow traffic laws.”

More Car Accidents and Fatalities in Urban Areas

The “Traffic Fatalities on Urban Roads and Streets in Relation to Speed Limits and Speeding, United States, 2010-2019 ” study was conducted using the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, a comprehensive database of fatal traffic accidents across the country.

Between 2010 and 2019, a study noted that fatalities in urban areas rose by 34%, while those in rural settings dropped by 10%. In 2016, fatalities in urban areas exceeded those of rural locations; and by 2019, 19,595 fatalities were experienced in cities compared to 16,340 in rural areas. Before 2015, traffic deaths in rural areas had been higher than those in urban areas.

David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation, commented that there may be more car accidents in metropolitan areas, because urban streets tend to be much busier, with a variety of roadway users, like car drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. He emphasized that speed can make these locations especially hazardous. Therefore, he stressed the importance of being mindful, aware of the street environment, and compliant with traffic regulations when traversing urban roads.

The report noted that the fatality rate has increased significantly in recent times, as most of the 4 million miles of public roads in the US are located in rural areas. It is predicted that there will be more car accidents in urban locations, as the population and number of miles driven in these areas continue to increase.

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