Arkansas Road Fatality Rate Among Highest in U.S.

FEBRUARY 6, 2007 - Posted at 2:08 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A report released today by a national transportation research group finds that, with nearly 650 traffic fatalities each year, Arkansas has the ninth-highest road fatality rate in the nation.

The study by Washington, DC-based nonprofit TRIP, shows that the state's fatality rate is 40 percent higher than the national average.

The report was commissioned by the Arkansas Good Roads Transportation Council, which advocates for road improvements, and also includes a list of safety features that the groups say could reduce the occurence of fatal crashes.

The group says several factors contribute to the high number of fatalities, including inadequate safety design, narrow lanes, limited shoulders and longer emergency response times in rural areas.

The group suggests addition of rumble strips, increased lane markings and straightening curves on the roadways could reduce the number of fatalities.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)