Aging, poorly maintained roads may pose a growing threat to CT drivers

Connecticut accidents involving poor road maintenance may become more common as traffic increases, roads age and road maintenance budgets fall behind.

Many car accidents that occur in North Haven involve some form of driver error or carelessness. However, in some cases, serious car wrecks may occur due to factors that drivers are powerless to prevent, such as road issues. Recent reports suggest that accidents of this nature could soon become more common in Connecticut and other states.

As the Connecticut Post explains, many of the nation's roads are approaching the end of their lifespans. The growing population of road users may also place a heavy burden on older roads. Unfortunately, federal funding for road maintenance and repairs has not risen to accommodate these growing issues. Due to ongoing funding issues, needed roadwork may be postponed, exposing drivers to potentially dangerous conditions.

Increasingly risky roads

According to one analysis of federal data, a significant proportion of U.S. roads now need maintenance or repairs. About 20 percent of all miles of major roads and interstates across the nation require new surfaces or complete reconstruction. Additionally, 25 percent of the nation's bridges are either poorly maintained or inadequately designed to suit modern traffic demands.

One Connecticut Department of Transportation source stated to The Middletown Press that Connecticut faces a growing number of infrastructure demands. However, from 2008 to 2013, the state's share of the Federal Highway Trust Fund fell over 10 percent. Uncertainty about future funding also presents an ongoing problem. Given these factors, motorists in Connecticut may face a growing risk of accidents involving defective roadways.

Common road issues

Poor road maintenance can create various hazards that lead to single-car or multicar accidents. These dangerous conditions include:

  • Roadway surfacing issues, including potholes, gaps or uneven payment
  • Problems with signage, such as faded lane markings
  • Roadway obstructions, including debris and water runoff

Additionally, other road issues, such as inadequate lighting, poor road design or unmarked hazards, can contribute to accidents. When this occurs, the parties responsible for maintaining the road may be considered liable.

Establishing liability

To pursue compensation for wrongful injuries, accident victims must prove that a roadway issue directly caused the accident and injury. If other factors contributed to the accident, proving that the road issue was the primary cause may be challenging. Accident victims typically also must document the hazard and scene of the accident to support their claims.

Seeking recourse for an accident involving a defective roadway can be challenging, given the unusual nature of these accidents. Anyone who has experienced a serious accident because of road issues should consider consulting with a personal injury attorney. An attorney may be able to explain a driver's legal rights and identify the most favorable way to approach a claim.

Keywords: car, auto, accident, injury