Deteriorating roads and bridges in our state are costing residents a surprising amount: $5.3 billion per year, according to transportation research group Trip. And the financial costs are only part of the problem for Alabama residents. The state has a vehicle accident fatality rate on metro and rural roadways that is higher than many other states, which may be due in part to the poor condition of its roads.
The issues are widespread
In Trip’s data about the roads in Birmingham, approximately “two-fifths of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition.” Four percent of locally and state-maintained bridges are rated as “structurally deficient.” Additionally, the state’s bridges earned a C-minus and roads a D-plus from the American Society of Civil Engineering.
What does this mean for drivers?
Fixing poor roads and bridges is necessary, of course. And the heavy traffic and construction delays this causes is not just annoying; it can be extremely dangerous.
Problems caused by poor roads and bridges can include:
- More road construction zones, which is dangerous for drivers and construction workers
- Bad traffic jams resulting in hazardous stop-and-go traffic
- Roadway defects that cause car accidents
- Potential bridge collapse
Any of these issues can lead to vehicle accidents causing severe injuries or death. In these cases, the state and other parties may be liable for the accident. Because cases against the state or any government entity can be complex, it is a good idea to consult an attorney if your accident was caused by roads or bridges in poor condition.