Survey: Nevada roads good but too many midday fatalities blamed on alcohol
A statistical survey funded by the insurance industry says Nevada has some of the nation’s best roads and bridges.
But the same analytical group says the Silver State also has one of the worst drunk driving fatality rates during that it called “brunch hours” — 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Quote Wizard, which is operated by Lending Tree, used Federal Highway Administration data to rank Nevada’s road infrastructure 10th best in the country. Nevada Department of Transportation spokesman Meg Ragonese said that data was submitted to FHA by NDOT.
According to the data, just 14 percent of Nevada roads are in poor condition. But the state shines especially when it comes to bridges where less than 2 percent are structurally deficient, second lowest in the country.
Ragonese pointed out NDOT is responsible for about 5,400 miles of state roads. All the other roads are taken care of by cities, counties and other governmental organizations.
She said 98 percent of Nevada interstates are in good condition and almost 75 percent of state maintained roads are ranked fair or better.
That compares with FHA reports showing that 61 percent of the country’s highways are in fair to poor condition.
The study points out that too many states are spending the majority of their highway money on expansion instead of maintenance.
Nevada uses a long-standing pavement preservation system that prioritizes funding to preserve state maintained roadways, Ragonese said. But the Silver State is also being forced to dedicate large sums to new construction to take care of its rapidly growing population.
In a separate study, Nevada got poor marks for the rate of deaths caused by midday drunks. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ranked Nevada 12th “booziest brunching” state in the country with a total of 37 impaired drivers causing fatal crashes between 2013 and 2017. In 2017 alone, the data says there were 12 drunk driving fatalities as people headed back to work after lunch. The study blames a culture of having a couple drinks for breakfast or lunch in many states. It says alcohol was a factor in nearly 13 percent of midday fatalities.
But Nevada isn’t the worst by any stretch. Alaska topped the list with intoxication a factor in almost 20 percent of brunch time crashes. Alaska is followed by Connecticut and New Mexico with about 18 percent of midday fatalities blamed on alcohol.
New Jersey was ranked the best in that data followed by Michigan and Indiana. In those states, the percentage of brunch time fatalities was less than 8 percent of crashes.