Award–winning journalist Andrea Bernstein is Senior Editor for Politics & Policy for WNYC News. She has previously served as Metro Editor, Political Director, Director of Transportation Nation, and Senior Reporter.
New York, NY –
As travellers take to the roads this holiday weekend, a new study finds poor U.S. road conditions contribute to half of all traffic deaths. And New York and New Jersey pay some of the highest costs for those accidents in the nation. WNYC's Andrea Bernstein reports.
The study was done for the Transportation Construction Coalition, a group that advocates road-building. Taking U.S. Department of Transportation data, the study finds that poor road conditions are the single most lethal contributing factor in traffic accidents, greater than speeding, alcohol, or the non-use of seatbelts. In New York, medical costs and lost productivity amount to about $127,000 per mile of road, and in New Jersey, it's even higher, $154,000. The report comes as the nation's highway trust fund is running out of money because of lower revenues from gas taxes, and as the White House is pushing for an 18-month delay in expanded transportation spending.