Lack of Transportation Funding is a Death Sentence
Download Broadcast Quality: BRoll
Aurora, Ill. (May 2, 2017) — Crumbling infrastructure in the U.S. could lead to death and serious injury for motorists, and the situation will continue to deteriorate if the problem is not addressed. Roadway improvements have the potential to save 63,700 lives and prevent 353,560 serious injuries over a 20-year period, according to a new report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. AAA urges the Trump Administration to make repairing and maintaining America’s roadways a top priority.
“Our nation’s highways and bridges are aging, and current funding is not enough to fix and maintain infrastructure,” said Beth Mosher, director of public affairs for AAA Chicago. “Investing in low-cost improvements could save tens of thousands of lives. AAA asks the Trump Administration to direct resources into road improvements that will have the greatest impact. Not doing so is effectively a death sentence for American motorists.”
Federal Investment in Transportation
An investment of $146 billion in U.S. roadways would reduce the likelihood of serious traffic crashes. The AAA report recommends six cost-effective roadway improvements: (the below improvements would help reduce anticipated crashes by 95 percent):
- Convert key intersections into roundabouts (nearly 30 percent)
- Install roadside barriers and clear roadside objects (nearly 20 percent)
- Add sidewalks and signalized pedestrian crossing on majority of roads (nearly 20 percent)
- Install median barriers on divided highways (14 percent)
- Install shoulder and centerline rumble strips (nearly 9 percent)
- Pave and widen shoulders (nearly 3 percent)
AAA estimates for every dollar spent on the outlined improvements in the report, there would be an average benefit of $2.40 in return. In other words, the present value of the 20-year safety benefits would be $348 billion.
What Local Governments Can Do
In Illinois, traffic fatalities increased every year since 2013, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Last year, 1,061 people died in traffic crashes - increasing 6 percent compared to 2015, and nearly 15 percent versus 2014. Illinois roads received a “D+” grade from the American Society of Civil Engineers, in 2014.
While the $146 billion investment outlined in the report will have a significant impact nationwide, increased investment is required at all levels of government to save lives.
AAA recommends state and local governments take action to:
“We must invest in infrastructure improvements that not only account for today’s needs, but also prioritize needs for the future, including the potentially lifesaving technology of autonomous vehicles,” continued Mosher.
- Prioritize safer highway design
- Align highway and street improvements with priority needs
- Fund effective clean-up of roadway debris
About the Research
For the study, the potential safety benefits and costs of investments in highway infrastructure improvements were derived by projecting benefits and costs of highway infrastructure improvements estimated in previous studies onto all roads of the same types nationwide. Click here to read the full report.
About The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, financial services and travel offerings to over 9 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 57 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.
About AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
Established in 1947 by AAA, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a not-for-profit, publicly funded, 501(c)(3) charitable research and educational organization. The AAA Foundation’s mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by conducting research into their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur. This research is used to develop educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users. Visit www.AAAFoundation.org .