Survey: 70 Percent of Summer Travelers Concerned About Bad Road Conditions
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Survey: 70 Percent of Summer Travelers Concerned About Bad Road Conditions

Damaged roads have cost U.S. drivers $15 billion in vehicle repairs over the last five years, or approximately $3 billion annually

May 16, 2016

About 70 percent of drivers traveling this summer are concerned about poor road conditions or traffic congestion, according to a new survey from the American Automobile Association (AAA).

According to the survey, 56 percent of U.S. consumers will be hitting the road for summer vacation, but only 1 in 5 think the roads are in great driving condition.

The survey found that two of the biggest concerns for drivers planning a road trip this summer are 1) too much traffic/congestion (48 percent of drivers), and 2) unsafe roads and bridges (36 percent of drivers).

"Bad roads and traffic gridlock can make summer travel unpleasant and costly for U.S. drivers," said Jill Ingrassia, AAA Managing Director of Government Relations & Traffic Safety Advocacy. "This survey shows that drivers are frustrated with the condition of our roads and bridges. We also know that while low gas prices are getting people back behind the wheel this summer, bad roads can hit them hard in the pocket."

According to AAA data, damaged roads have cost U.S. drivers $15 billion in vehicle repairs over the last five years, or approximately $3 billion annually. Of that—AAA says that the average driver reported spending $300 to repair pothole damage to their vehicle and many reported having to make repairs an average of three times in the last five years.

AAA reports that drivers are also paying an additional $960 a year in wasted time and fuel due to traffic congestion. According to the 2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard, traffic delays kept drivers on the road for nearly seven billion extra hours and caused them to waste more than three billion gallons of fuel.

"Americans rely on our nation's roads and bridges every day and it is important that they are safe," continued Ingrassia. "Last year Congress made great strides by passing a five-year transportation bill, but an estimated $170 billion per year in additional funding is still needed to significantly improve America's crumbling roads and bridges."

AAA says that the steep price for bad road conditions is expected to rise even higher in the years ahead. The Association is urging lawmakers to identify a sustainable funding source for improving the nation's roads and bridges in the future.

About the survey: AAA completed a telephone survey of two national probability samples (landline only and cell phone). The total sample size consists of 1,006 adults living in the continental United States. Interviewing for the survey was conducted April 28-May 1, 2016. This study has an average statistical error of ±3.1% at the 95% confidence level for all U.S. adults.