While the number of fatalities from auto accidents in rural areas declined 10% in the previous decade, deaths in urban areas increased 34%, AAA noted.
AAA said before 2016, rural auto fatalities outnumbered those in urban areas. The agency said that trend has since reversed. AAA said motorists are traveling more miles in congested areas.
“Many urban streets in metropolitan areas are busier, with a mix of road users such as drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Add in speed, and these locations grow more dangerous. When navigating urban streets, every user needs to be careful, pay attention to road conditions and follow traffic laws.”
AAA said collisions with cyclists and pedestrians accounted for 29% of fatalities.
Nearly half of urban auto fatalities occurred in areas with speed limits of 35 mph.
Federal data suggests fatalities from vehicle crashes are continuing to rise. There was a 7% increase in deaths due to auto collisions in the first quarter of 2022 compared to 2021.