Rural roads in Tenn., Ark. among deadliest in nation - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Rural roads in Tenn., Ark. among deadliest in nation

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More than 46 million Americans live in rural and less densely populated areas, where the primary transportation mode is a personal vehicle. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file) More than 46 million Americans live in rural and less densely populated areas, where the primary transportation mode is a personal vehicle. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file)
Tenn., Ark. -

(WMC) - Traffic crashes and fatalities happen significantly more on rural roads in Tennessee than all other roads in the state.

TRIP, a national transportation research group, found in 2012 that for every 100 million vehicle miles of travel, there were about three deaths. This fatality rate makes for the sixth highest in the state, and it's nearly three times higher than the rate of .95 fatalities on all other roads in Tennessee.

Arkansas' rural roads prove dangerous, too. Here's how the southern states compare to others:

State Non-interstate rural fatalities rate

South Carolina 3.99
Florida 3.35
West Virginia 2.8
Texas 2.76
Arkansas 2.71
Tennessee 2.68
Arizona 2.66
Kentucky 2.64
California 2.61
Pennsylvania 2.6
Oklahoma 2.52
Hawaii 2.48
North Carolina 2.44
Montana 2.4
North Dakota 2.33
Kansas 2.26
South Dakota 2.21
Ohio 2.15
NewYork 2.13
Indiana 2.09

More than 46 million Americans live in rural and less densely populated areas, where the primary transportation mode is a personal vehicle. TRIP writes the increase of agricultural production results in more traffic loads by large trucks on these roads, which could be a contributing factor.

Rural traffic fatalities are down by 14 people so far this year compared to 2013, according to TDOT, but 237 lives have still been taken.

July's report from TRIP cites concerns over a lack of adequate funding for a federal program that supports roads, highways, and bridges. The Highway Account of the Federal Highway Trust fund could drop below $1 billion, which would result in delayed projects that could improve some road conditions.

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