MENU
component-ddb-728x90-v1-01-desktop

Report: NC's rural roads have high rates of fatalities

A report out Tuesday said North Carolina ranks No. 8 in the nation in rural road deaths. That's according to TRIP, a national transportation research group. The study showed South Carolina's rural roads have the highest rate of fatalities in the nation. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

A report out Tuesday said North Carolina ranks No. 8 in the nation in rural road deaths. That's according to TRIP, a national transportation research group. The study showed South Carolina's rural roads have the highest rate of fatalities in the nation.

The report found 10 percent of the state's rural roads are in poor condition. North Carolina also ranks 16th in the nation for poor bridge construction.

RELATED | Intersections on Patton Avenue, Tunnel Road called the most dangerous in Asheville

The report said the rural transportation system in the U.S. is in need of repairs and modernization to stimulate economic growth in communities nationwide.

TRIP's report, "Rural Connections: Challenges and Opportunities in America's Heartland," assessed the conditions and safety of America's rural roads and bridges, and states improvements are necessary to resolve rural roadway deficiencies, high fatality rates, a lack of connectivity to other communities or major highways and an inability to accommodate higher traffic volumes.

"North Carolinians who live and travel on rural roads deserve a transportation system that is safe, efficient and reliable. We know being ranked eighth in the country for rural road fatalities isn't something to be proud of but, with the creation of the Strategic Transportation Investments Program back in in 2013, North Carolina has recently been investing more attention and funds than ever into fixing and repairing its roads and bridges. Hopefully, we will continue to see improvements which can make our roads safer for everyone," Tiffany Wright president of AAA's Foundation for Traffic Safety, said in a news release said.

TRIP studies found 15 percent of U.S. rural roads are in poor condition, 21 percent in mediocre condition, 16 percent are rated as being in fair condition and the remaining 48 percent are in good condition. The report also showed 10 percent of U.S. rural bridges are considered structurally deficient - having significant deterioration to major bridge components. Additionally, traffic crashes and fatalities on rural non-Interstate roads are reported to be disproportionately high, two-and-a-half times higher than on other roadways.

"We have to make our roads safer. We need better safety features geared towards keeping vehicles on the road. Updated guard rails, wider shoulders and rumble strips can help drivers correct themselves when they've veered off the road. These safety measures can help prevent some of the tiniest mistakes from turning into big mistakes, with deadly consequences," Wright said.

"When people hear the word 'rural,' they often think of secondary roads, but most of the traffic is actually on rural primaries and Interstates.

Trending