Poor Roads Costing Sacramento Area Drivers More Than $2,000 Per Year


8/30/18 A new report released this month highlights the hidden costs of deteriorated, congested, and unsafe roads and bridges for Sacramento metropolitan statistical area (El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, and Yolo Counties) drivers. According to TRIP, a nonprofit transportation research group, drivers in the Sacramento region pay an extra $2,166 annually due to the combined costs of driving on unmaintained roads, being stuck in congestion, and the financial costs of traffic collisions. A lack of available funding for transportation maintenance to date, and a backlog of projects has left every community with poor road conditions, deteriorating bridges, increased congestion, and unsafe roadways. In the Sacramento area, 70 percent of all major roads and highways are in poor or mediocre condition, costing the average driver $754 annually in extra vehicle operating costs. Senate Bill 1, passed by the Legislature in 2017, has helped to begin to remedy these deficiencies.

The average Sacramento driver is stuck in traffic for 44 hours a year, at a cost of $993 annually. Roadway features can be a contributing factor in crashes, accounting for approximately one-third of fatal traffic crashes from which the average driver in Sacramento loses $419 a year. The report highlights that critical roadway safety improvements are one way to help reduce the likelihood and severity of accidents and in rural communities.

In addition to looking at the financial impacts of our road conditions, congestion, and traffic safety trends, the report touches on the consequences of our deteriorating transportation system on the economy and the effects of new SB 1 revenue on our transportation infrastructure. Sacramento was one of 12 regions TRIP focused on in its research of the hidden costs of transportation in California.