The Feb. 27 editorial “A bumper crop of vehicle fatalities” rightly called for “muscular laws and enforcement, including more speed cameras and tougher rules for seat belts, drunken driving and smartphone use.” But one factor was overlooked: deficient roadway conditions.
An analysis of motor vehicle crash data conducted by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, a leading independent transportation safety research organization, found deficient roadway conditions cause, or make worse, 10 crashes a minute and contribute to more than half of all roadway deaths in the United States. The financial cost of these crashes exceeds $217 billion annually.
The study, “On a crash course: The dangers and costs of deficient roadways,” points out that safer drivers and safer cars remain vital but that it is also critical to make roads, bridges and shoulders safer. It has been far too long since the United States paid enough attention and devoted sufficient financial resources to that aspect of driving safety.
Matthew Jeanneret, Washington
The writer is senior vice president for communications and marketing at the American Road & Transportation Builders Association.