Driving in a metropolitan area is expensive due to wasted gas and poor roads, study finds

Driving in the New York metropolitan area is expensive, primarily due to wasted gas from traffic and increased vehicle wear and tear from driving on rough roads, according to a recent study.

The study, published by TRIP, a Washington, D.C.-based transportation research group, highlights how burdened drivers are by poorly maintained roads and bridges, with crashes linked to road safety issues and congestion.

The number one cost of driving is congestion, with around 9 million motorists sitting in 92 hours of traffic a year and burning 38 gallons of gas a year as a result. Lost time and fuel cost each driver about $2,107 a year, according to the private nonprofit organization’s report.

Although there was a 45% drop in vehicle travel during the height of the pandemic in April 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, vehicle travel has rebounded to near pre-pandemic volumes. pandemic in October 2021.

The second highest driving expense comes from traveling on poorly maintained roads and bridges, leading to higher operating costs and faster vehicle depreciation.

The report found that in New York, 45% of major federal and state highways are in poor or poor condition. He revealed that 26% of this total is in poor condition and 19% is in poor condition.

Ten percent of bridges maintained locally and by New York State were rated as poor or structurally deficient. This costs drivers about $759 per year, according to the study.

Pavements in poor condition “show visible signs of deterioration, including potholes, cracks or ruts, and frequently exhibit deterioration of the subbase of the pavement, which will often require costly reconstruction”, indicates the report.

Finally, drivers are also affected by the financial cost of traffic accidents, attributable at least in part to inadequate road safety measures. Road crashes, at least in part related to a lack of adequate road safety devices, resulted in economic costs of $4.6 billion and cost drivers an average of $326 per year.

“A lack of adequate investment has significant costs to the public in terms of reduced safety, reduced reliability and increased operating costs. It is essential that we make the necessary investments to have a safe, reliable and well-maintained system,” said TRIP Policy and Research Director Rocky Moretti.

Moretti pointed to the Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, passed by Congress in November, as a step in the right direction.

Marc Herbst, executive director of the Long Island Contractors’ Association, a construction trade group, said he will continue to advocate for better and safer roads for Long Island.

“TRIP’s report once again underscores the desperate need for continued funding for our roads, highways and bridges on Long Island. The numbers speak for themselves,” Herbst said.

In total, the study determined that drivers lose $3,192 per year due to rough roads, traffic jams and inadequate road safety features.

TRIP compiled data from several agencies, including the National Highway Safety Administration, the US Department of Transportation and the Texas Transportation Institute.

Richard L. Militello