Car accidents can be caused by a number of factors. Drunk driving, speeding, and distracted driving are a few common ones that we think of right away, involving negligence on the part of a driver. Sometimes it is not the fault of the driver at all, but the conditions of the road that can cause accidents resulting in serious injury or death.

According to a study by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE), over 50% of highway deaths in the US are due to the inadequate conditions of our roads. This is more than drunk driving or speeding.

Examples of these unacceptable conditions are:

  • Uneven pavement
  • Lack of road maintenance
  • Potholes
  • Malfunctioning traffic control signs or railroad crossing signs
  • Loose gravel
  • Steep shoulder declines
  • Missing or broken signs
  • Broken guardrails
  • Overgrown trees
  • Poorly planned intersections
  • Insufficient lighting at night
  • Missing road lines or reflectors
  • Narrow roads or bridges unequipped for traffic
  • Poor drainage

The conditions may not be the only cause of the accident, but may lead to a crash intensifying the results. The PIRE study reported 22,000 deaths per year were due to poor road circumstances, and were the cause of 38% of vehicle related injuries. These crashes cost $20 billion in medical costs and $99 billion in costs that affect quality of life. This is measured in level of pain, level of enjoyment of life of the injured or their families, and amount of suffering the victim is left with. If local government, private companies or the state has been made aware of these conditions and they have not been attended to, they may be held responsible. Contact an experienced NY car accident attorney if you or a loved one has been in an accident because of poorly maintained roads.