Study: Bad roads cost motorists more than bumpy rides

A report released on Tuesday by transportation-research think tank TRIP said driving on deteriorated urban roads could cost motorists as much as $1,044 annually.

The report detailed a study that evaluated pavement conditions in the nation’s large (500,000+ population) and mid-size (250,000-500,000 population)  urban areas and calculated the additional costs passed on to motorists as a result of driving on rough roads. Driving on roads in disrepair increases consumer costs by accelerating vehicle deterioration and depreciation, and increasing needed maintenance, fuel consumption and tire wear.

The report, “Bumpy Roads Ahead: America’s Roughest Rides and Strategies to Make Our Roads Smoother,” examined urban pavement conditions, transportation funding, travel trends and economic development.

In 2013, about 28 percent of the nation’s major urban roads -- Interstates, freeways and other arterial routes – had pavements that were in substandard condition and provided an unacceptably rough ride to motorists, costing the average urban driver $516 annually.

The nationwide annual cost of driving on deteriorated roads could total $109.3 billion by year's end, Jill Ingrassia, AAA managing director of government relations and traffic safety advocacy, said.

“The nation’s rough roads stress nerves and cost billions in unnecessary vehicle replacement, repair and fuel costs,” Ingrassia said. “Full investment in our nation’s transportation system will reduce the financial burden on drivers and provide them with a smoother, safer and more-efficient ride.”

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