The rural fatality rate measures fatalities on all rural arterials in the state.
The nation’s rural highway fatality rate improved from 1.71 in 2016 to 1.36 in 2018 (Table 18, Rural Fatality Rate Per 100 Million Vehicle-Miles, 2018, Figure 13).
The last several years saw the rural fatality rate increase after a decades-long downward trend. While there is no one cause, distracted driving appears to be the biggest contributor. In 2018, 6,654 rural fatalities were reported, fewer than the 8,032 rural fatalities reported in 2018, as rural VMT (vehicle-miles of travel) increased to 0.49 trillion from 0.47 trillion in 2016.
For 2018, Maryland reported the lowest rural fatality rate, 0.32, while Hawaii reported the highest, 6.6.
Most states (34 of 50) reported a decrease in their rural fatality rate compared to 2016, led by Florida and North California, which improved 5.47 and 2.35 points, respectively.
Thirteen states saw their rural fatality rate increase, with Delaware and Rhode Island reporting the largest rate increases of 1.05 and 0.82 points, respectively. Three states—Michigan, Ohio, and Arkansas—saw no change in their rural fatality rate.
Rural Highway Fatality Rate (Per 100 Million Vehicle-Miles Traveled)
|2018 Rank||State||Fatality Rate Per 100 Million Rural Vehicle-Miles|