Now that it’s spring the weather is warmer, wetter and the potholes are in full bloom. They’re not only a pain to drive around and damaging to your car if you hit one, but they could cause an accident. Philadelphia car accident lawyer Rand Spear says potholes pose a danger to pedestrians and all those using the roads.
A pothole forms when water collects beneath the pavement and repeatedly freezes and thaws. As time goes on that cycle causes the pavement to buckle. As more traffic passes over the area and more freezing and thawing takes place, more pavement breaks up and the pothole can get wider and deeper. They are especially common on poorly maintained roads where cracks allow water to get under the pavement and in areas with poor drainage.
If you drive your vehicle fast enough into a pothole that’s deep enough you can blow a tire, bend a tire rim, damage the front end alignment and your suspension. As a result you could lose control of your car and strike an object or another vehicle. If you swerve around a pothole in order to avoid it you could also hit another vehicle, guardrail, pedestrian or other object.
Those on motorcycles and bicycles face the possibility of serious injuries if they’re thrown off after hitting a pothole or they may swerve into the path of a vehicle while trying to stay away from it. A Michigan woman crashed her motorcycle near Springport last month, apparently because she was trying to avoid potholes in the road, causing serious injuries, reports Michigan Live. If an accident happens because a roadway is not safely maintained the government body responsible for maintaining the road may be liable for damages.
This time of year not only do drivers need to be wary of all the hazards that normally come with driving but they need to be on the lookout for potholes as well. If you’re driving too fast it may be too late to safely slow down to avoid damage from hitting it or to safely steer around it. If you’re driving at night a pothole in a poorly lit area can be a hazard that can easily sneak up on you.
Depending on the location of the pothole and the amount of traffic in the area the safest thing you could do is hit the pothole instead of veering off into another lane and risking a collision with another vehicle. Fixing that bent tire rim or getting a new alignment will cost you far less than the body work needed for your car or the medical costs and lost time at work due to injuries from a crash.
Depending on the circumstances if your vehicle is damaged due to striking a pothole you may be able to file a claim to re-pay you for repairs with the government body responsible for that section of road. If that happens to you, take pictures of the pothole if you can safely do so and work with your mechanic to document the damage and the cost of repairs. These are websites to help you seek reimbursement from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the State of New Jersey because of vehicle damage caused by potholes.
If you or a family member has been injured in a vehicle accident caused by a poorly maintained road or a pothole, don’t wait to speak to a personal injury lawyer about your case. Protect your rights to compensation by calling new Jersey and Philadelphia car accident lawyer Rand Spear today at 877-GET-RAND.