June 16, 2014
By Neal Tepel
Washington, DC – As the Highway Trust Fund nears collapse, a new national random-sample survey shows that a majority of Americans are worried about unsafe conditions on roads and highways. Nearly three in ten say poor road conditions have contributed to an accident and two-thirds say road conditions are wearing down their vehicles. In addition, poor road conditions such as potholes contribute to a third of all traffic fatalities – about 10,000 lost lives a year.
The poll was commissioned to Hart Research Associates by the Laborers' International Union of North America. Interviews were conducted May 29 – June 1.
Key findings from the survey:
– 59% of Americans worry about unsafe road conditions due to poor road surfaces – and 27% worry often.
– Worries are highest in the Northeast (69%) and Midwest (67%) and in urban areas (70%).
– 28% say road conditions have contributed to an accident involving themselves or someone they know.
– 40% say they or someone they know has almost had an accident or lost control of their car due to poor road surfaces.
– 69% say poor road conditions contribute to wear and tear on their car.
– Poor road conditions affect people across all segments of society and across all political persuasions. Democrats and Republicans are both likely to say they have been affected.
"It's time to stop sugar-coating this issue," said LIUNA General President Terry O'Sullivan. "Americans have real concerns about safety due to the neglect of our roads and bridges. It is the solemn responsibility of Congress to pass a long-term, full-investment Highway Bill this year."
According to the transportation research group, TRIP, poor road conditions such as potholes contribute to a third of all traffic fatalities – about 10,000 lost lives a year.
It's time for Congress to act on a long-term transportation and infrastructure plan. Investing in our infrastructure creates jobs and makes us more competitive in the global economy. The cost of inaction is higher than developing a plan to fix the Highway Trust Fund and ensure a long-term reliable source of investment for roads and bridges across the country. We can't afford to wait any longer. Congress needs to take bold action and they need to do it now.