Report Released on EMS Response to Rural Motor Vehicle Crashes

Motor vehicle crashes on rural roads account for more than half of all highway fatalities in the U.S., yet less than one-quarter of the population lives in rural areas. Many factors contribute to the high rural fatality rate, including challenges to EMS.

This report by the Transportation Research Board’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), titled Synthesis 451: Emergency Medical Services Response to Motor Vehicle Crashes in Rural Areas, identifies potential factors that may help reduce the time needed to provide effective medical care to crash occupants on rural roads.

The challenges include higher rates of multiple-fatality crashes, head-on collisions, roll overs and ejected crash occupants; and lesser resources for rural responders. Rural EMS systems often rely on volunteers and have fewer resources for staffing, equipment and training. They also travel greater distances and may have limited telecommunication options.

View the pdf online for the major findings and lessons learned in this report.