SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — California’s rural roads are in poor condition and among the deadliest for drivers in the country, according to a report released Tuesday by a national non-profit transportation research group.

TRIP, a Washington-D.C. based research group, annually evaluates the condition and dangers posed by rural roads across the United States.

In its report Tuesday, the group found California ranked third among all states in rural roads in need of repair with the condition of 38 percent of the roadways listed as poor.

Only Rhode Island at 41 percent and Connecticut at 39 percent ranked higher among those states with rural roads needing repair.

Another 15 percent of California’s roads were rated as being in mediocre condition.

“The results of this study illustrate the consequences of years of backlogged maintenance, and what happens when needs far exceed the resources provided to maintain an aging transportation system,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty in a prepared statement. “Luckily, California’s lawmakers acted to provide a badly needed and game changing investment through the Road Repair and Accountability Act, which will be an opportunity for California to make significant improvements to our roads, both rural and urban alike.”

When it came to rural bridges, the study found that 6 percent of California’s were structurally deficient.

The condition of the roadways have also made many dangerous to drive. Researchers found that California ranks second in the nation in rural road traffic fatalities at 3.19 fatalities per million miles traveled.

South Carolina leads the nation with 3.82 per million miles traveled.

This report underlines the pressing need to repair California’s rural roads,” said California Farm Bureau Federation President Paul Wenger in a prepared statement. “The whole nation depends on rural California for food and farm products, but rural infrastructure needs are often overlooked.”


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