A new Triple-A study finds the costs associated with traffic crashes are much greater than congestion costs.

A report prepared for Triple- A by Cambridge Systematics finds the overall cost of crashes - 299-point-5 billion dollars nationwide - equates to 15 hundred 48 dollars a year in Jersey - compared to 580 dollars per person for congestion.

"The burdens associated with congestion are at the forefront for many Jersey residents as they commute to and from work each day," says Cathleen Lewis, Director of Public Affairs for the AAA New Jersey Automobile Club, "however, at 300 billion annually, crashes cost our society more than three times the amount of congestion."

She says "this report further underscores the importance of a long-term, multi-year federal transportation bill that will provide the necessary and sustained investments that lead to better and safer roads for all Americans -we want to make sure that as we continue this conversation, that people are not just thinking about how to get from A to B quicker, but how to get from A to B safer."

Lewis adds they're pushing very hard "to make sure that we have a comprehensive transportation infrastructure plan - that means that what we need to do is we need to find a stable, sustainable funding source and that we need to have a long-term plan - we can't continue to sort of kick the can down the road…we need to find a multi-year long term investment that looks at our infrastructure problems both from a safety aspect and a congestion aspect and tackle those problems head-on."

She points out by ignoring the problem it only becomes worse -and says one problem affects the other, since "the more crashes, the more congestion you have, because people are stopped- waiting for them to clear the scene of an accident."

Triple -A provides more than 52 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying Triple-A has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.