Study Finds More Than Half of Highway Deaths Related to Bad Road Conditions

A study released last week by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) found that over half of United States highway fatalities are related to poor roadway conditions. According to the report, ten roadway-related crashes occur every minute and contribute to 38% of non-fatal injuries.

More than 22,000 fatalities were attributed to deficiencies in the roadway environment, costing the country more than $217 billion each year. That figure breaks down to $20 billion in medical costs, $46 billion in productivity costs, $52 billion in property damage and other resource costs, and $99 billion in quality of life costs. Massachusetts was among the ten states with the highest road-related crash costs per mile of road.

The study, which is entitled “On a Crash Course: The Dangers and Health Costs of Deficient Roadways,” identifies several ways in which transportation officials could improve road conditions to save lives and reduce injuries sustained during traffic accidents. These include adding rumble strips to shoulders, using brighter and more durable pavement markets, replacing or widening narrow bridges, and reducing pavement edges and abrupt drop-offs, among other improvements.

More than Half of Highway Fatalities Are Related to Deficient Roadway Conditions,, July 1, 2009
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