Potholes – A Dangerous Road Defect

Odds are all drivers have experienced rolling over a pothole at some point in their lives. It is the sort of thing that makes you cringe as soon as you realize what is happening: the sound is terrible, your car shakes, and you immediately think about how bad it must be for your tires, wheels, and shocks. Fortunately, most of the time, driving over a pothole does fairly little damage. In certain circumstances, though, it can cause devastating consequences.

Although most people have a clear image in their head when they hear the term "pothole," it is worth looking at what causes these road defects to form. The word pothole can be used to label any place where part of the road material is broken way or sunk-in. The majority of potholes form as a result of pavement fatigue. As cars continually drive over the same spot, cracks form and eventually the pavement breaks away. Water can enter these cracks and expand in low temperatures, causing the degradation process to speed up. If they are not tended to, potholes can grow to be multiple feet across.

Even at low speeds, crossing paths with a large pothole can cause damage to a car's tires or suspension, resulting in expensive repairs. When high speeds or other extenuating circumstances are involved, though, the consequences can be much more serious. If a car suffers a tire blowout when it hits a pothole, it may be sent careening out of control endangering the driver, the drivers of other vehicles, and nearby pedestrians. If a pothole is located near a sharp turn, hitting it may cause a car to lose control temporarily and run into a median or guard rail. In all of these cases, there is a very real risk for serious injury, property damage, or even death.

As is the case with most road defects, it is the state's job to repair potholes. The Department of Transportation has a responsibility to drivers to maintain safe roadway conditions. If complaints are ignored and a pothole is allowed to grow and grow until it becomes a hazard to drivers, the state may be held liable for damages resulting from their negligence. An experienced legal professional can help you determine if this may be the case in your accident.

More information about For road defects, visit the website of Stevens Point car accident attorneys Habush Habush & Rottier, SC