KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A national non-profit transportation research group based out of Washington D.C. is looking at how much money Tennesseans lose as a result of driving on roads that are deteriorated, congested or lack some desirable safety features.
TRIP found that Tennessee motorists lose $6 billion annually from additional vehicle operating costs. In Knoxville, motorists spent $1,376 in additional annual costs as a result of driving on deficient roads. Factors considered included accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, tire wear, increased fuel consumption and lost productivity.
The report found that approximately a quarter of Tennessee’s major urban roads are in either in poor or mediocre conditions. Eleven percent of Tennessee’s major locally and state-maintained urban roads and highways have pavements in poor condition, while 13 percent are rated in mediocre condition. Thirteen percent of major urban roads are in fair condition and the remaining 63 percent are rated in good condition.
The group said that they thought improving safety features on Tennessee’s roads and highways would likely result ina decrease in the state’s traffic fatalities and serious crashes. They found that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all fatal and serious traffic crashes in the state.
A total of 4,965 people were killed in Tennessee traffic crashes from 2012 to 2016, an average of 993 fatalities per year, according to TRIP. The number of traffic fatalities in the state increased eight percent from 2015 to 2016, from 958 to 1,036.
Tennessee’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.25 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2015 was higher than the national average of 1.13.
More: View the full report