Eighteen states reported a worsening of urban Interstate congestion. The greatest increase in congestion, 36.2 percentage points, was in Minnesota. Kentucky, where congestion worsened 33.9 percentage points, was next. Iowa, Alabama, Idaho and Mississippi also saw urban congestion rise by more than 20 percentage points.
Between 1989 and 2008, the U.S. fatality rate improved from 2.16 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles to 1.25 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles, a drop of about 42 percent.
All 50 states lowered their highway fatality rates from 1989 to 2008, and all but three states (Oregon, Kentucky and Delaware) reported improvements from 1999 to 2008. New Mexico, Nevada and Mississippi saw the biggest decreases in fatality rates.
This week the National Safety Council reported that traffic fatalities rose in 2012 for the first time in several years.
Rural Primary Road Pavement Condition
The percentage of rural arterial roads in poor condition improved from 2.6 percent in 1989 to just 0.5 percent in 2008. Thirty-four states lowered the percentage of rural arterials in poor condition and three states (Alaska, Montana and Idaho) reduced their percentage of poor rural pavement by more than 10 percent.
Narrow Lanes on Rural Primaries
Narrow lanes on major rural roads are a key measure of sight visibility and safety. The proportion of narrow lanes on the rural primary system improved from 12.9 percent in 1993 (the earliest year of comparable data) to 9.6 percent in 2008. Hawaii, Rhode Island, Arkansas and New Jersey made the biggest improvements.
The Size of State Highway Systems
North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Pennsylvania and South Carolina have the largest state-administered highway systems. Hawaii, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Jersey and Massachusetts have the smallest.
Contact: Chris Mitchell, Director of Communications, Reason Foundation (310) 367-6109.