Summer is the time Americans like to hit the roads, but those driving to their vacation destinations say they are concerned about getting stuck in traffic snarls and traveling on roads and bridges that are unsafe.
Only 1 in 5 drivers say roads are in great driving condition. More than a third heading on a driving trip this year fear using roads in bad shape - think potholes and crumbling bridges - and almost half say there will be too much traffic to contend with. That's according to a survey released Monday by the national motoring club AAA.
"Bad roads and traffic gridlock can make summer travel unpleasant and costly for U.S. drivers,” said Jill Ingrassia, AAA Managing Director of Government Relations & Traffic Safety Advocacy. “This survey shows that drivers are frustrated with the condition of our roads and bridges. We also know that while low gas prices are getting people back behind the wheel this summer, bad roads can hit them hard in the pocket.”
Over the past five years, AAA found that damaged roads have cost U.S. drivers $15 billion in vehicle repairs, or approximately $3 billion annually. The average driver reported spending $300 to repair pothole damage to their vehicle and many reported having to make repairs an average of three times in the last five years. Drivers are also paying an additional $960 a year in wasted time and fuel due to traffic congestion, the survey said.
With gas prices trending lower than in recent summers, American are driving at record numbers. This year, 55 percent of families say they will take a road trip this year, AAA said.