As we move out of yet another winter and into the spring, our roads are becoming riddled with potholes once again. A pothole is created when water gets down into the cracks in the pavement. In the wintertime, when that water repeatedly freezes and thaws, it breaks down the asphalt beneath the surface. After time, the surface of the road breaks and sinks, forming a pothole.
Why potholes are so dangerous
According to The Pothole Facts, accidents caused by potholes make up roughly one-third of all traffic fatalities each year. Accidents are often caused when drivers fail to approach potholes with caution.
The contributing factors to pothole accidents include:
- Drivers who swerve to avoid a pothole and end up colliding with an oncoming vehicle.
- Drivers who stop abruptly, resulting in a rear-end accident or causing a following vehicle to swerve.
- Drivers who hit potholes and lose control of their vehicles.
Potholes are a daily reality for all Pennsylvania drivers. Driving over them repeatedly can cause serious damage to your car and result in a devastating crash. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining our roads and fixing the potholes but they can’t fix a pothole if they don’t know it’s there. PennDOT is therefore encouraging motorists everywhere to report any potholes that they find.
If you see a pothole, report it by calling 1-800-FIX-ROAD. You can also report them online by going to PennDOT.
When submitting information about a pothole, please be as specific as possible. Make a note not only of the specific location of the pothole, but also any other pertinent information such as any wildlife present or issues with signage around the area. The more information work crews can get about the condition of the pothole and the surrounding location, the easier and quicker they can fix the road.
Reporting potholes can prevent accidents
The Pennsylvania car accident lawyers at Marcus & Mack know all too well the damage that a pothole can inflict on an unsuspecting motorist, bicyclist or pedestrian. The quicker a pothole is reported and fixed, the less damage it can cause to those of us on the road. Therefore, it is up to each of us to be aware of hazards such as potholes and report them promptly. A quick phone call to 1-800-FIX-ROAD can mean the difference between a smooth commute and an accident.
Accidents involving potholes can lead to complex legal cases. The liable party may be a municipal government responsible for maintaining the road service or a third-party contractor. In addition, motorists may make unsafe maneuvers, such as swerving, in order to avoid potholes, potentially causing a collision with another vehicle. That's why it's so important to conduct a thorough investigation as soon as possible after the accident, before evidence disappears.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a crash involving a pothole or other road hazard, contact us today. Our lawyers have 100 years combined experience and we are ready to use that experience to help you get back on your feet. If you’re not sure whether or not you have grounds for a case, call us today. We provide a free case evaluation.