Statewide data from two sources were used to compare the pedestrian-vehicle collision injury and fatality rates for urban and rural areas of Washington State from 1981 through 1983. Although the rates of pedestrian injuries are higher in urban areas, the pedestrian fatality rate in rural areas is higher for nearly all age groups, and at all posted speeds. Multiple logistic regression was carried out to measure the risk of dying once involved in a pedestrian-vehicle collision in rural areas compared to the risk for urban areas. This relative risk was seen to be elevated (RR = 2.3; 95% CI = 2.0-2.6) even after controlling for the effects of age and sex of the pedestrian, and posted speed of the vehicle. When explored further it was seen that a larger proportion of fatalities died out of the hospital and within the first hour after injury in rural areas than in urban areas. It is possible that Emergency Medical Services care is less rapidly available and that accessibility to trauma centers is more limited in rural areas.