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The Worsening Condition of California’s Roads and its Effect on Drivers

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Bad roads in California are proving to be more than just a driving hassle; it costs a significant amount of money.

The worse-for-wear roads in Los Angeles alone are costing drivers in the state $2,995 annually in operating expenses, according to the DC-based research firm TRIP. These expenditures include wasted time and fuel during congested hours, repairs from driving on rough roads, and possible bills related to traffic accidents. The TRIP research found that the city’s drivers collectively lose $61 billion because of these poorly-maintained roads.

A Recipe for Disaster

TRIP said that an overwhelming 87% of major roads and highways in the San Francisco-Oakland area are in mediocre or poor condition.  The same goes for 60% of the roads in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim area.

What’s worse is that the state’s bridges, which carry thousands of cars over vast bodies of water every day, are among the oldest in the nation. About 56% of them are at least 50 years old. More than 77 of the bridges are considered to be structurally deficient, which means their surfaces and support are starting to deteriorate.

Zooming in on crash costs, TRIP said the average driver who goes through Los Angeles roads spend at least $299 every year because of traffic accidents. This figure takes into account the cost of hospitalization, legal representation, rehabilitation, property damage, and productivity losses.

Are State Efforts Enough?

California is working to improve its roads, but a Los Angeles Times report stated they might be doing it inefficiently. The news outlet noted that some officials aren’t convinced by California’s move to hike up the gas tax to repair or replace its bridges. They cited data from the Federal Highway Administration showing that the number of bridges in poor condition increased since the implementation of the tax hike.

They’re not wrong. The state has been putting many road projects on hold, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. Its 2018 infrastructure report card showed that the state has a total maintenance backlog of $137 billion, with $57 billion coming from the deferred projects of California’s Department of Transportation.

Solving the Accountability Problem

When you or a loved one gets into a car accident involving a poorly-maintained or designed road, it’s often difficult to sue the agencies in charge of it and hold them accountable. State and federal governments have sovereign immunity that protects them from lawsuits. But if you can prove that the agency in charge knew about the road’s issues and didn’t act on them, you can sue that establishment. If you lost a loved one to such accidents, a wrongful death lawyer could help you gather evidence to prove and file your claim.

Roads are among California’s most valuable assets, as $2.8 trillion goods are moved through it, TRIP stated. Intensifying problems like congestion and road deterioration will likely worsen the state’s transportation network. It’s a vicious cycle, too, as more vehicles going through this network will only damage the roads further. As such, every driver and passenger should stay cautious each time they’re on the road.

Have a Professional Wrongful Death Attorney on Your Side

American roads, especially ones in California, are dangerous to drive on. Accidents involving faulty road maintenance and distracted drivers are a harsh reality that residents have to face. If you lost a loved one because of these issues, Haffner Law could help you find justice. We are experienced in handling wrongful death lawsuits and other personal injury cases. Our team of lawyers will guide you through the process of filing a claim and provide you with adequate representation in court.

Contact us at 213-514-5681 or 844-HAFFNER today to schedule your free case review.

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