Canadians pay an additional $126 annually due to poor road conditions, according to a Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) report. Over the 10-year lifespan of the average vehicle, that adds up to more than $1,250.
Today, the CAA released the Cost of Poor Roads in Canada.
“Canada’s roads are vital for commuters, business and connecting communities,” said Ian Jack, CAA National vice-president of public affairs, in a news release. “This study shows for the first time the hidden cost to drivers of below-average roads. And it demonstrates that governments would save money in the long run if they brought roads up to – not perfection – but a good standard. That should be attainable.”
According to the CAA, 43 per cent of Canadian roads are rated below average. The study calculates how much more drivers pay in maintenance and other costs when they drive on poor roads versus those rated average or above. The information used was self-reported data from provincial and municipal agencies.
Québec reported the highest percentage of below-average roads and had the highest cost per driver at $258 in added maintenance and other costs.
Ontario's average cost is $88 per vehicle annually. BC, Alberta and New Brunswick were lower.
“A vehicle is the second-largest expense for the average household,” said Jack. “And when Canadians are paying higher vehicle operating costs due to poor roads, that is money they no longer have to spend on everyday wants and needs.”
He said repairing roads before they deteriorate save governments and drivers money.
“The study finds that spending one dollar on pavement preservation eliminates or delays spending $6-$10 on costly repairs later," he said.
CAA’s Worst Roads campaign is now active. Vote at www.caaworstroads.com until April 18 for a chance to win free gas for a year.
A week into the 17th annual Worst Roads campaign, the response has already surpassed the total number of votes for 2019 in one week.
Read the full CAA report here.