Rural Roads Hazardous

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Tree-lined rural roads could be why the southeast has the highest number of fatal auto crashes in the country.

According to a study by the Georgia Institute of Technology, the region had more than a quarter of the U.S. vehicle deaths between 1996 and 2000.

The researchers cite hazards on rural roads like trees that are close to travel lanes and unpaved shoulders. They say most of the wrecks involved tired or drunk drivers late at night.

During the period of the study, there were more than 55,000 fatal crashes in nine southern states including Alabama and Mississippi.