Deficient roadway conditions contributed to more than half of the highway fatalities in the US; substantially more than drink driving, speeding or non-use of safety belts, according to a new study.

The study found that bad road conditions claimed 22,000 lives in the US and caused 38% of the total non-fatal injuries in a year, the independent transportation safety research organisation Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation has found.

The US loses $217bn each year because of deficient roads, which is more than three times the amount it invests in roadways development, the study said.

The report said that roadway related crashes impose $20bn in medical costs; $46bn in productivity costs; $52bn in property damage and $99bn in quality of life costs, which measure the value of pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life by those injured.

Transportation Construction Coalition (TTC) members are now urging the government to provide better funding for roadway safety improvements that can save many lives and cut down future costs.