Conference Proceeding

Identifying Fatality Factors of Rural and Urban Safety Cultures

  • Michael E Rakauskas (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis)
  • Daniel J Ward (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis)


The fatality rate in rural areas is considerably higher than it is in urban areas. In order to better understand the differences and similarities between attitudes and behaviors of drivers in different geographic areas, a large scale survey was conducted in both rural and urban counties within the state of Minnesota. As part of this survey, recipients were asked to rate the frequency and dangerousness of risk factors that play a role in fatal crashes. They were also asked to rate how effective and desirable a number of proposed safety interventions would be in their own communities. Though both urban and rural drivers reported practicing various unsafe driving behaviors, rural drivers engaged in particular factors, such as not wearing a safety belt, and did not recognize the true extent of these risks. Rural drivers also consistently felt that proposed safety interventions were less useful than did drivers from urban areas. It is hoped these results can be used to help instruct research efforts and inform policy decisions of the attitudes and beliefs of drivers who experience differing safety cultures.

How to Cite:

Rakauskas, M. & Ward, D., (2007) “Identifying Fatality Factors of Rural and Urban Safety Cultures”, Driving Assessment Conference 4(2007), 184-190. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2007 the author(s)

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Published on
10 Jul 2007
Peer Reviewed