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Poor driving conditions cost an L.A. driver nearly $3,000 a year

A new study just released by the National Transportation Research Group (TRIP) shows that vehicle repairs, safety issues and congestion cost a Los Angeles driver an average of $2,995 a year. That adds up to $61 billion each year for California drivers.

Congestion leads to lost time and increased gas usage. More repairs are needed due to driving on rough roads. Then there is the financial impact of getting into traffic accidents.

The $2,995 price tag breaks down this way:

  • Congestion: $1,774
  • Vehicle maintenance or repairs: $921
  • Cost of crashes: $299

Most roads are in poor or mediocre condition

Around Los Angeles, the TRIP report also shows that 79 percent of major highways and roads are in poor or mediocre condition. The study further states this is due to road maintenance being underfunded at the state and local level. In 2017, the American Society of Civil Engineers also gave California a D+ grade in an infrastructure review that evaluated bridges, roads and school facilities.

Improvements promised, progress slow

Gov. Jerry Brown stated the poor shape of roads and highways was because the gasoline tax had not been increased in 23 years. That led to a $130 million backlog of highway, road and bridge repairs in the state. Though the state approved the $52 billion transportation plan to address the issue, it is a long-range plan which may be slow to roll out to all parts of the state.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti promised progress on the city’s crumbling roads when he unveiled his new budget in April, but has experienced criticism from the chamber of commerce, AT&T and other local groups.

For the time being, it seems Los Angeles drivers will continue to bear the brunt of the impact through vehicle accidents, damage to cars and more money wasted on gas.

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