Crumple Zones

Crumple Zones

Most of us don’t give much thought to infrastructure – the roads and bridges that we travel over every day.

According to the World Economic Forum, the United States, which used to have the best infrastructure in the world, now ranks 16th.

Decades of neglect have resulted in crumbling concrete, corroded steel and a massive problem with no real solution in sight. In Georgia alone, there were almost 6.6 million licensed drivers in 2012 – that’s a lot of wear and tear on the transportation system.

New Report Raises Concerns About Georgia Roads

One group evaluating surface transportation concerns for all 50 states is a Washington, D.C., based private nonprofit research organization known as TRIP. A September 2014 report by TRIP concluded that population and economic growth in our beloved Peach State has resulted in increased demands on our major roads and highways. Vehicle travel on Georgia’s highways increased by 48 percent from 1990 to 2012, while the population grew by 53 percent. These increases have the added effect of congesting 56 percent of Georgia’s major urban highways and causing 10 percent of those major roads to have pavements rated in poor condition. Furthermore, 16 percent of Georgia’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

Why You Might Be Paying More

Driving on defective roads also carries a financial component, including additional vehicle operating costs, congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.

Such penalties were calculated by TRIP to cost Georgia residents a total of $7.9 billion every year, with $1,394 being the average annual cost just to EACH Macon driver.

Along with easing congestion and reducing financial costs, the report concluded that repairing surface infrastructure could save lives and lower the rate of traffic accidents. Roadway conditions are a significant factor in approximately one-third of traffic fatalities, and there were 1,192 traffic fatalities in 2012 in Georgia. A total of 6,436 people died on Georgia’s highways from 2008 through 2012.

A Good Investment

The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 in the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs, and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.

As Georgia works to retain its businesses and its population continues to grow, the cost of doing nothing to repair our transportation infrastructure seems to be much higher than the alternative. If you have any questions about this topic or believe that an infrastructure issue caused your accident, contact the Mann Law Firm at (478) 742-3381 or use this convenient online contact form.