States Get Report Card On Road Repair
By Greg McDonald, Senior Writer
Had a flat tire lately? Front-end out of line? How about a broken axle?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, chances are you're either a really bad driver or you're the victim of lousy road maintenance.
The Washington, D.C.-based, non-profit Road Information Program (TRIP) thinks it's more of the latter. Based on its analysis of Federal Highway Administration data, American motorists are spending $41.5 billion a year, or about $222 per driver, on extra vehicle repair costs that could be avoided if the state and federal governments would beef up funding for highway and bridge improvements.
William M. Wilkins, TRIP executive director, describes these extra costs as "hidden taxes that American motorists pay to drive on bad roads."
"Driving on roads in need of repair results in extra costs in areas such as additional tire wear, damage to shock absorbers and wheel alignment, and extra gas consumption," says Wilkins.
In a report on the problem released last week, TRIP researchers note that the roads in most need of repair can be found in the following 10 states, which also have the highest extra vehicle operating costs per motorist. New Mexico is first with car repair costs of $432. Missouri is second with $388, followed by Louisiana with $387, California with $354, Oklahoma with $351, South Dakota and Arkansas each with $325, Wisconsin with $319, Vermont with $297, and Mississippi with $278