Deficient Roads, Highway Fatalities Study Released As Reauthorization Talks Heat Up

At the brink of SAFETEA-LU reauthorization negotiations, the TCC unveiled a highway safety study that finds half of U.S. highway fatalities are related to deficient roadway conditions

Source: Transportation Construction Coalition; National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, Alexandria, Va.

At the brink of SAFETEA-LU reauthorization, a TCC highway safety study finds that half of U.S. highway fatalities are related to deficient roadway conditions. Unsafe road conditions are a more lethal factor than drunk driving, speeding or not using safety belts, according to the report, On a Crash Course: The Dangers and Health Costs of Deficient Roadways.

“This study presents a much higher percentage [50 percent] of fatalities attributed to unsafe roads than the information we had previously. It also shows the escalating and unacceptable costs of not repairing and improving our half-century-old highway infrastructure, which is beginning to crumble due to inadequate investment in maintenance, said NSSGA Chairman Gerard Geraghty (Rogers Group, Inc.)

Conducted by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, the study finds that 10 roadway-related crashes occur every minute, totaling 5.3 million/year. Deficient road conditions also contribute to 22,000-plus fatalities, costing the nation more than $217 billion annually, as well as 38 percent of nonfatal injuries. Not surprisingly, the report concludes that making the roadway environment more protective and forgiving is essential to reducing highway fatalities and costs.

TCC, whose members include American Concrete Pavement Association and National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, commissioned the report to educate members of Congress about the need to boost investment aimed at improving the roadway environment as part of highway bill reauthorization. The TCC will be issuing a press release in all 50 states, which contains data specific to each state.