We’ve all know the telltale signs of a road in terrible condition – potholes line the street and there are shoulder drop-offs and spots with uneven pavement. And, unfortunately, any attempts that local transportation authorities make at patching holes, filling cracks in asphalt, or even completing extensive construction projects often cause more problems – if you’ve ever had to remove tar from the underside of your vehicle or tire treads or had to buy a new tire because driving over a construction grate popped it, you know what I mean.
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, the United States earned a measly D grade for road infrastructure (bridges earned a C+). These are sad statistics, given that there are over 4 million miles of roads in the U.S. and our roads are one of the most used and familiar forms of infrastructure. It’s an especially concerning stat for RVers who travel by road occasionally or even full time to find rest and relaxation at the end of their routes.
Roads that are in disrepair – or even those that are under extensive construction – can cause a lot of issues for any vehicle on the road, but particularly for RVs. For example, roads in deteriorating condition can lead to increased:
- Operating and repair costs – These expenses can inch skyward when it comes to an RV traveling on poorly maintained roads. Not only could you spend more money on things like repairing blown-out tires and the suspension system, dents and dings caused by road debris, and even structural damage caused by jarring vibrations, you could also end up using more fuel as you try to navigate tricky roads.
- Traffic delays – Vehicles tend to move more slowly on roads in poor condition, which can cause traffic to back up. The more that road congestion becomes an issue, the more time (and gas) you spend just sitting in your RV rather than enjoying it at your destination.
- Risk for accidents – Accidents can occur at any time, but deteriorating roads can increase the chances of accidents occurring. This is especially true if there are distracted drivers in congested areas that aren’t paying attention as the speed of vehicles on the road increases and decreases around various road issues.
All these issues can add up in RV costs, of course, but the time you lose when dealing with poor road conditions is a major disadvantage. The goal of RVing is to get out and explore the world around you and that becomes more difficult to achieve when the roads to get where you’re going are in disrepair.
To help prevent delays caused by poor road conditions on your next RV trip, check online for updates about the conditions of the roads you wish to take and adjust your route accordingly. Plus, you can urge your local and state government to take road infrastructure seriously and allocate funds toward properly repairing existing roads.
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