When a car accident occurs, one of the first questions that comes to mind is who was at fault or what caused the accident. Some of the usual suspects include one or both drivers, a problem with one of the vehicles such as a brake failure, and weather conditions such as rain or fog. But sometimes the culprit is the road itself. And in Alaska, that may be the case more often than in other states.
For two straight years, Alaska’s roads have been ranked at the bottom of the list. According to the Reason Foundation’s Annual Highway Report , Alaska was last in 2013, moving up slightly to 49th in 2014. The rankings are based upon the quality of the roads and the cost-effectiveness of the road system.
Alaska officials take issue with the report, saying that the high costs of maintaining existing roads and building new ones in the state are not figured into the ranking. The state transportation department points out that making improvements like underpasses and overpasses on rural roads that aren’t frequently traveled would not justify the expense. But the person who compiles the report says just the opposite is true: because there are so many rural areas in Alaska that require travel to major cities, those citizens have no choice but to use those roads.
In addition to the conditions on rural roads, the report found an increase in bad conditions on interstates. Alaska is one of five states in the entire country that almost fifty percent of its rural interstates are in poor condition. The study also found many deficient bridges in the state.
While human error and mechanical problems will always be a factor in the cause of car accidents, poorly maintained roads can certainly be a contributing factor. If you think the was the cause of an accident that you were involved in, contact a reputable and experienced personal injury attorney in Alaska who can help you determine who should take responsibility for your pain and suffering.
Merdes Law Office has helped injured Alaskans for more than 25 years, it’s who we are. And while we hope you never need us… we’re here if you do.
Source: Juneau Empire, “Alaska’s road system ranks last in nation ,” Jennifer Canfield, July 1, 2013
Secondary Source: Washington Post, “Where America’s worst roads are – and how much they’re costing us,” Christopher Ingraham, June 25, 2015