A new report shows rural roads in the state of Kansas are the ninth deadliest in the country, and nearly three times as deadly as interstates in the state.
The findings are based on percentages. Trip, a national transportation research group, found for every 100 million miles cars travel on rural roads, Kansas averages about 2.4 deaths, while it’s under one death for interstate travel.
The Kansas Highway Patrol covers every stretch of road in the state. Lieutenant Adam Winters said there are a variety of factors that can contribute to those numbers.
“Not speeding on those rural highways, I know it’s really easy to do sometimes,” Winters said. “Make sure they’re watching the crossroads as they come up to them for other vehicles that are approaching the highway, and just making sure they’re being cognizant of other vehicles that are on the highway as well as they’re approaching them.”
Winters said the roads in rural areas could be gravel or dirt, and said you should adjust your driving accordingly. He also warned of animals, especially deer could be a more common sight.
“We see people that will swerve to avoid the animal and that typically makes that collision a lot worse than it would be if they just ran into the animal,” Winters said.
He also stressed how important it is to wear seatbelts, as usage in rural areas tends to be low.
Shawn Steward, AAA Kansas manager of public and government affairs, stressed how important safe rural roads are for Kansans.
“AAA Kansas advocates that making investments in critical safety improvements to rural roads will save lives each year and help move our economy forward,” Steward said.
You can view the Trip study here.