Throughout Philadelphia and many other cities in the United States, potholes are a problem on the roadways. These holes in the asphalt, which can be as deep as 10 inches, are one of the primary causes of car accidents in the United States. When drivers notice potholes, they should report them to the local road department to have them filled. By reporting a pothole, a driver can protect themselves and others from injury.
Why Potholes are Especially Prevalent in the Winter
Many drivers notice that there are far more potholes in the roadway during the winter months than there are during the warmer times of the year. This is because when water gets into the cracks of the asphalt, it freezes, expanding the crack slightly. When the water thaws, its volume decreases but the asphalt does not contract to its former size. Rather, it continues to be expanded as new water enters the crack, freezes and expands, then thaws, continuing the cycle. Over time, tiny cracks become large potholes that pose a safety hazard to motorists. Potholes also form in cities in warmer regions through the simple wear and tear of the roadway. Water in any form can hasten a pothole’s formation, though this process is exacerbated by freezing.
How Potholes Cause Car Accidents
There are a few different ways a pothole can cause a car accident. Vehicles that swerve around them, often on short notice, puts them at risk of colliding with other vehicles. Vehicles that stop suddenly when they drive into the potholes puts them at risk of side and rear-end collisions. Driving into a pothole can cause a motorist to lose control of their vehicle, which increases their risk of colliding with another vehicle, a stationary object, or a pedestrian.
Potholes can also damage vehicles when no collision occurs. When a car drives through a pothole, the car’s shocks and suspension suffer the strain of absorbing the impact of one or more tires dipping into the hole. Water accumulated in potholes can splash up into a vehicle’s undercarriage, putting it at risk of suffering other types of damage.
Reporting Potholes to Prevent Accidents
When a driver sees potholes in the roadway, they should report the potholes to the local governing authority to have the pothole inspected and filled. In Philadelphia, drivers should report potholes to the Philadelphia Streets Department, the city department tasked with maintaining the roadways. Reporting potholes is simple. Drivers can report them on the City of Philadelphia’s website or through an accompanying app. When making a report, the driver should describe the location of the pothole, provide as many details about the pothole’s size and shape as possible, and report whether they noticed water in the pothole.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Represent Car Accident Victims Seeking Compensation
If you were injured in a car accident because of a pothole in the roadway, you can seek compensation for your damages by filing a personal injury claim. To learn more about your rights and options, speak with an experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer. Fill out our online form or call 215-569-8488 to set up your initial consultation with McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. We are in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and we work with clients from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.