The urban fatality rate measures fatalities on all urban arterials in the state. The nation’s urban highway fatality rate worsened from 0.82 in 2019 to 1.04 in 2020 (Table 18, Urban Fatality Rate per 100 Million Vehicle-Miles, 2020, Figure 13). The urban fatality rate has increased over the last several years after a decades-long downward trend. While there is no one cause, distracted driving may be a significant contributor. In 2020, 11,889 urban fatalities were reported, more than the 10,737 urban fatalities reported in 2019, as urban VMT (vehicle-miles of travel) decreased to 1.14 trillion from 1.31 trillion in 2019, partly as a result of COVID-19.
For 2020, New Hampshire reported the lowest urban fatality rate, 0.37, while New Mexico reported the highest, 2.15. Three states reported a decrease in their urban fatality rates compared to 2019, led by Arkansas and Idaho (which improved 0.49 and 0.26 points respectively). Forty-seven states saw their fatality rate increase, led by Wyoming and Arkansas (which increased by 0.71 and 0.67 points respectively).