Austin’s roads cost each local driver $1,200 a year. That's according to TRIP, a highway industry nonprofit. The organization also found that deficient roads in Texas cost drivers a total of $23 billion each year.
The report says poor road conditions cause accidents and additional traffic which lead to longer commute times and greater fuel usage. Substandard roads can also result in more wear and tear to vehicles and tires, resulting in higher maintenance costs.
Overall, TRIP found that 18 percent of Texas’s major urban roads are in poor condition, while 27 percent are considered mediocre. Though $1,200 a year isn't chump change, the report still found Austin has the fewest number of roads in poor condition with nine percent. San Antonio ranks highest, with 33 percent of its roads in poor condition.
The state of Texas roads hurts more than drivers’ bank accounts. TRIP estimates that road features contribute to one-third of all fatal and serious crashes. The number and width of lanes, road lighting, lane markers, shoulders, rumble strips and guard rails all play a role in road safety.
The Texas Transportation Institute found that in the three years following repair projects that widened lanes and improved the shoulders along rural roads, there were 133 fewer fatalities on those roads than in the three years prior to the improvements.
And according to findings by the Federal Highway Administration, every $100 million spent on highway safety improvements will result in 145 fewer traffic fatalities over a ten year period.
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