COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - Driving on bad roads costs Charleston drivers $1,850 annually in vehicle operating costs, congestion-related delays and traffic crashes, according to a report from a Washington, DC-based transportation research group.
TRIP's report, South Carolina Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State's Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility, examines road and bridge conditions, congestion, economic development, highway safety and transportation funding in South Carolina.
Statewide, motorists are coughing up a total of $5.4 billion, the report states.
Ten percent of South Carolina's bridges are structurally deficient, according to the report, with significant deterioration to their major components.
Traffic congestion in the Charleston area is worsening, causing 41 hours of delay a year and costing motorists on average $1,047 on lost time alone, TRIP states.
The state's overall traffic fatality rate of 1.89 fatalities per 100 million miles of travel is the highest in the nation, according to the report, significantly higher than the national average of 1.13.
"These conditions are only going to get worse, increasing the additional costs to motorists, if greater investment is not made available at the state and local levels of government," said Will Wilkins, TRIP's executive director. "Without adequate funding, South Carolina's transportation system will become increasingly deteriorated and congested, hampering economic growth, safety and quality of life."