New research shows rough, congested, and unsafe roads are costing Louisiana motorists around $6.9 billion annually, which could cost up to almost $2,300 per driver. Spokesperson for the transportation research group TRIP, Rocky Moretti, says safety alone costs a total of $2.3 billion.

“We know that when roadways are designed with the best possible safety features for the type of road it is, we can make a significant improvement in traffic safety,” said Moretti.

Moretti says vehicle operating costs are $2.1 billion statewide due to cars getting beat up from tattered roads and needing to be repaired or replaced.

“That new vehicle you bought and thought you could keep for another ten or twelve years, maybe you are going to lose two or three years because of the stress it is under,” said Moretti.

TRIP says traffic congestion in Louisiana is also worsening, causing up to 58 annual hours of delay for drivers in the most congested areas and costing the state’s drivers a total of two-point-five billion dollars annually in lost time and wasted fuel.

Moretti says longer commutes cost motorists time with family as well as limit job opportunities.

“Economically, that means there is fewer jobs that people can get to in a reasonable amount of time and for employers that means a fewer number of people they can employ,” said Moretti.

The TRIP report shows nearly half of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition.