Thanks to the CAASCO for providing the information below. This information is from their website, where if you go now, you can have your vote for Ontario's Worst Roads.
Basic Facts About Bad Roads
Poor road conditions can cause costly wear and tear on your vehicle. And that's not all - they put your safety at risk. They're bad for the environment. And they can affect your insurance rates.
Over 350 fatalities and 25,000 injuries each year can be directly related to poor roads, according to Transport Canada.
Hitting potholes and consistently driving on poorly maintained roads throws out wheel alignment and diminishes the treads on tires, making it harder to steer in bad weather. In turn, this increases your risk of puncturing a tire.
Roads tend to crumble first at the edges, where cyclists tend to ride. This puts cyclists at significant risk of crashing or losing control if they hit a pothole or must swerve to avoid large cracks in the road.
Congested roads lead to a need for increased braking, causing premature wear on the brakes and decreasing safe stopping distances.
Police in regions like Cambridge report highway congestion can lead to stressed motorists and incidents of road rage.
Steering linkage damage causes poor steering responses, often causing the driver to either over-correct or under-steer the vehicle. This can cause drivers to lose control of their automobiles and lead to serious accidents.
Insurers provide policy coverage in case your vehicle sustains damage due to poor road conditions - such as potholes - in the form of optional collision coverage.
Collision coverage is optional and not all motorists purchase the coverage.
A deductible is almost always associated with collision coverage. It is the portion of the loss that the policyholder agrees to pay, in most cases $500.
In many cases, the deductible is more than the damage incurred by a collision with "the surface of the ground."
A collision loss may affect the future insurability of a motorist or may have an affect on your premiums.
In the case of injuries, it doesn't matter if you do not have collision coverage, your automobile insurance policy will still provide coverage.
If your insurer responds with coverage for your claim and believes the municipality is responsible by reason of not maintaining the roads, they will fight on your behalf.
More than 80 per cent of foreign multinational executives believe Canada's poorly maintained infrastructure adversely affects investors.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce says congestion costs Southern Ontario $2 billion each year.
More than 1.5 million Ontario jobs depend on being able to move exports to the U.S. by road.
75 per cent of all goods exported to the U.S. are moved by truck on Ontario roads.
A recent Ontario Good Roads Study of 35 municipalities showed they needed to spend $700 million dollars per year on road maintenance, but were only spending $255 million.
The City of Toronto is more than $300 million behind in scheduled road maintenance.
In 2003, Toronto paid out $110,000 in pothole claims to motorists.
Over the first 12 years of a road's life, it only costs $1,000 to maintain each lane/km of road surface. But, if no maintenance is done by the 15 to 17 year mark, the road could require reconstruction at a cost as high as $250,000 per lane/km.
Despite the federal and provincial governments taking in approximately $7 billion from Ontario motorists each year, municipal governments are expected to fund most road repairs through property tax revenues.
Congested roads lead to idling vehicles, which produce 77 per cent more greenhouse gas emissions than vehicles not caught on congested roads.
Every 10 minutes of idling costs at least one-tenth of a litre in wasted fuel.
A vehicle with poor wheel alignment and worn-out tire treads caused by poor road conditions or potholes can increase fuel consumption by three per cent - and also increase its greenhouse gas emissions.
The American Highway Users Alliance reports adequate repairs to highways could reduce smog-contributing emissions by 50 per cent, and would reduce rush hour delays by 74 per cent, saving commuters an average of 30 minutes each day.
A Norwegian study released in March 2007 has found conclusive evidence that strategies such as road realignments, sufficient width of roads and vehicle capacity give traffic the ability to flow steadily, leading to fewer vehicle emissions. These strategies are regarded as positive contributions to a sustainable environment.
Dioxide emissions double when car speeds drop from 55 to 30 km/hour. Hydrocarbon emissions triple at speeds less than 60 km/hour compared to a constant speed of 80 km/hour.
Intelligent Transportation Systems - in the form of synchronized traffic lights, road sensors and message boards - can help improve traffic flow and reduce pollution emissions by up to 6 per cent.
Municipal responsibilities - How to file a claim
Municipalities are responsible for the majority of roads in Ontario. A set of standards exists for such things as:
Routine road inspections
Sanding and salting
Road sign and signal maintenance
Repair of potholes
Motorists can submit claims to their municipality for vehicle damages or for an injury caused due to bad or deteriorating road conditions, such as potholes. Usually you are required to go to the city's clerk's office and put a claim in writing.
It is important to note municipalities are protected by very strict time limits for making claims against them. In Ontario, for legal action relating to road repair, a municipality must be put on notice within 10 days of the occurrence, and any action must be brought against them within two years of the event. The claim should include:
Date and location of the incident
Details of what happened
Names of city staff involved
The claim will then be forwarded to the city's insurance adjusters for evaluation. A letter of acknowledgement should be sent to the claimant within two weeks of the submission.