At the brink of the federal highway SAFETEA-LU funding reauthorization, a Transportation Construction Coalition highway safety study finds that half of
At the brink of the federal highway SAFETEA-LU funding reauthorization, a Transportation Construction Coalition 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 National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association 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 non-fatal injuries. Not surprisingly, the report concludes that making the roadway environment more protective and forgiving is essential to reducing highway fatalities and costs.