Should You Wear Padded Pants Riding on Texas Roads?
Bad roads cost us all. With prices of vehicle repairs outpacing the rate of inflation, rough roads can take a financial toll. Bad roads can lead to suspension and steering problems, alignment issues, tire damage, and exhaust system problems.
MoneyGeek has analyzed overall road quality in all 50 states and released its report. Texas roads did not rank in the Top 10 Best or the Top 10 Worst roads in the US. The roads in Texas came in 15th WORST.
There may be good reasons for the condition of Texas roads. The stats don't lie.
There are more paved highway miles in Texas than in any other state. According to the Federal Highway Administration's 2020 Highway statistics, Texas has 313,596 miles of paved roads.
California is second with 175,135, and Florida is 3rd with 135,760 miles.
Looking at these stats, it is not hard to understand the immense challenge of The Texas Department of Transportation to keep roads in this state paved and up to the highest standards.
According to figures posted in 2020, Texas spent $46,792 per mile on the maintenance and repair of highways and roads. This is far less than the #1 state for maintenance costs, New Jersey. They spend $221,064 a mile there.
Looking at the 2021 Annual Highway Report, the last year, we have comprehensive figures; here's how Texas compared in essential categories.
Average Road Roughness Score: Texas ranks 35th in this category with a score of 2.37. This is slightly better than the national average of 2.52. This means Texas roads are smoother than most other states.
% of Roads in Poor Condition: Texas is 22nd in this category, with 10% of its roads considered to be in poor condition. The national average is 7.2%. This means Texas has a higher percentage of roads in poor condition.
% of Roads in Good Condition: Texas is 31st in this category. 65.9% of Texas roads are considered in good condition. The national average is 67.3%. This means we have a lower percentage of roads considered in good condition.
Total Highway Spend: Texas spent $9.1 billion in 2019. Even with the most paved road miles of any state, this comes in 11th overall.
California has the worst roads in the nation. This is another good reason why more businesses should move to Texas. The best roads in the country are in Alabama and New Hampshire.
While rough roads can take a toll on your vehicle, they can also take a toll on you. It is certainly possible, according to the Mayo Clinic, for someone to injure their buttocks while riding on a rough road. The jolting and bouncing motion of a vehicle on a rough road can cause discomfort, bruising, and even more severe injuries.
If you must travel on rough Texas roads, you may have to do what professional off-road bikers and motocross riders do. They wear padded shorts or protective gear to prevent injuries.
Fortunately, most Texas roads are not that bad yet.
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