The joys of driving down America’s country roads have long been celebrated in song. According to a new report, however, many rural roads and bridges in the U.S. are in urgent need of repairs and are plagued by high fatality rates.
The report by TRIP, a national transportation research group, estimates that more than half of rural roads are subpar, with 15% rated in “poor” condition, 21% “mediocre” and 16% “fair.” States with the highest percentage of rural roads in poor condition include Rhode Island, Connecticut, California, Hawaii and Mississippi. Meanwhile, 10% of rural bridges are showing signs of significant deterioration.
TRIP also reports that traffic crash fatalities on rural non-interstate roads are more than 2 ½ times higher than on all other roads. States with the highest fatality rates on non-interstate rural roads include South Carolina, California, Kentucky, Mississippi and Montana.
“Rural roads are far too often overlooked. With fatality rates rising, repairing and maintaining the nation’s roads must be a top priority for legislators,” said Kathleen Bower, AAA senior vice president of public affairs and international relations, in a press release issued by TRIP. Click here for more information on the report.