DeAnn Owens
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Bad Roads Costing Canadian Drivers

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Pothole in road with water puddle
Photo: 四代目火影 via CC

Potholes, broken roads, and messed-up asphalt not only diminish the quality of your drive but also put your vehicle at risk. Damage from hitting a pothole can appear immediately or soon after, requiring a trip to the body shop. A new report proves that bad roads are costing some drivers in Canada more than others.

The 2021 report, called Cost of Poor Roads in Canada, was drafted by the Canadian Automobile Association. It took a closer look at the infrastructure that’s impacting the driving quality and automotive budgets of Canadian motorists. The study examined several factors, including the cost of owning and operating a vehicle, distance traveled, and vehicle type. The data was sourced from a Statistics Canada study and focused on details from a “normal” year as opposed to the unusual circumstances drivers faced in 2020 during COVID-19 limitations.

Compared to other provinces, poor road conditions are costing drivers in Quebec the most with an average annual bill of $258 in lost fuel economy, worn-out tires, vehicle damage, and mechanic work. Alberta drivers only pay an average of $64, while Prince Edward drivers and Nova Scotia drivers have an extra cost of $164 and $137, respectively. Drivers in Newfoundland and Labrador finish with $125. Roads are in pretty good condition in New Brunswick, British Columbia, and Ontario, as drivers there pay $80, $85, and $88, respectively.

“The study found that 15 percent of Canadian roads are in poor or very poor condition, with 28 percent rated fair, and 52 percent at good or very good,” according to Jil McIntosh with “Overall, that translates to 108,000 kilometers of poor roads, and 48,000 kilometers of very poor. In Nova Scotia and Quebec, more than half of all highway kilometers are deteriorated, or showing signs of it.”

Road conditions are divided into five ratings: very poor, poor, fair, good, and very good. Very poor means roads need major work ASAP, while poor roads require extensive work. Fair roads are rough but still safe while good roads only need minor tweaks. Roads that don’t need any work are rated as very good.