As conversations on how to improve our nation’s infrastructure continue this week, Americans For Modern Transportation (AMT) presents the third post of our “By The Numbers” series. As a broad set of industries committed to moving goods across the American economy, we continue to support policy upgrades and infrastructure investment to meet the demands of modern businesses and consumers. Together, we can move America toward a safe, efficient, and sustainable future.
Roads are vital components of everyday life. Serving as connectors, roads take products from the factory to American homes and businesses. They provide access to new places and allow us to visit family members that live hours away. Despite their socio-economic significance, the status of America’s road network is continuing to deteriorate as chronic underinvestment and a lack of innovation has plagued America’s highway system. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, 21 percent of U.S. highways were in poor pavement condition in 2015.
When our roads face more wear and tear without adequate upgrades, transporting people and goods to their destinations becomes more costly for consumers and businesses.
- Poor roads increase costs for the average driver: Driving on roads in need of repair costs U.S. motorists $120.5 billion in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs in 2015 – that’s $533 per driver. (ASCE)
- Poor roads hold back economic activity: Moving goods around our nation relies on our system of highways, bridges, and roads. For the shipping industry, poor road conditions make it increasingly difficult to keep up with the demands of the modern consumer.
- A majority of Americans see room to improve our roads: A recent Morning Consult poll found only 30 percent of survey respondents rate the quality of America’s roads as good or excellent. (AMT)
The trend is clear, we are constantly striving to go faster, and our current roads will ultimately hold us back. As roads become more crowded and shipping becomes more integral to daily life, it is the responsibility of the transportation industry and policymakers to ensure investments and commitments prioritize sustainability, efficiency, and safety for the American consumer.