In the single worst economic time since the depression, job-loss reportings that are lower than expected become overall good news. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has estimated December 2009 job losses at 84,000, a little higher for the month than expected, but the Portland Cement Association (PCA) final quarter job loss predictions of 861,000 are far higher than actual 501,000 for the final quarter of 2009 as reported on Jan. 14th by Site Prep magazine.
The DOT’s Secretary LaHood said that the Obama administration’s approved $79 billion dollar budget promotes safety in a number of areas, starting with a new $50 million grant incentive program to the states to combat distracted driving. Since Secretary LaHood convened a national Distracted Driving Summit last fall, he has undertaken a nationwide campaign to put an end to the deadly epidemic.
More than half of U.S. highway fatalities are related to deficient roadway conditions – a substantially more lethal factor than drunk driving, speeding or non-use of safety belts – according to the Transportation and Construction Coalition (TCC) and the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE). Ten roadway-related crashes occur every minute (5.3 million a year) and also contribute to 38 percent of non-fatal injuries. The report also found that deficiencies in the roadway environment contributed to more than 22,000 fatalities and cost $217 billion annually.
Analysis of crash costs on a state-by-state basis.
The 10 states with the:
Highest total cost from crashes involving deficient road conditions are (alphabetically): Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas.
Highest road-related crash costs per million vehicle miles of travel are: Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Highest road-related crash costs per mile of road are: California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and South Carolina.