Winter is not kind to Michigan roads. Potholes pepper the highways and, whether large or small, they can do serious damage to vehicles. Far more concerning, however, is when potholes cause car accidents. It’s one thing to worry about destroying your tires, but hitting a pothole and losing control of your vehicle endangers your life, your passengers, and other motorists.
The Danger of Potholes
Potholes are caused by the weathering of roadways and the wear-and-tear that roads endure. When the top asphalt layer of the road wears away, the concrete base of the road is exposed. A small hole in the road can grow to be several feet wide and nearly a foot deep. Potholes collect rainwater, which can disguise the hole, make the hole worse, and create a serious hazard for motorists. Areas with poor drainage and roads that are very busy will see some of the worst pothole problems.
Potholes can cause a slew of problems for a vehicle. The car shocks and suspension absorb the brunt of the impact when a car connects with a pothole. Tires and tire rims can be destroyed. The damage can be extensive and expensive.
When Potholes Cause Car and Motorcycle Accidents
Hitting a pothole, especially unexpectedly, can cause a driver lose control of their vehicle. Combine potholes with poor weather conditions and the recipe for disaster is great. Car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents caused by potholes can result in serious injuries and even fatalities.
Motorcycles, in particular, are inadequately designed to handle potholes. While cars and trucks are at risk of a car accident after hitting a pothole, motorcyclists are far more likely to have a serious accident.
Potholes are also dangerous to pedestrians. Drivers who see a pothole at the last minute may swerve to avoid it, which can lead not only to collisions with other vehicles but also collisions with pedestrians on the sidewalk.
Michigan Potholes Are Some of the Worst
The potholes in Michigan, particularly in the Detroit area, are some of the worst in the country, according to national transportation groups. While some people may see potholes as simply a nuisance in winter that needs to be navigated and tolerated, others see the matter differently.
It’s not just personal vehicles that use pothole-riddled streets. Think of how the people you love are getting around on Michigan highways: school buses, ambulances, public transportation. About a third of the annual vehicle fatalities involve substandard road conditions.
Was Your Accident Caused by a Pothole?
If you have been involved in a car accident because of a pothole, you may want to claim negligence by the county or city, but it can be difficult to prove that road conditions were directly responsible for the crash. Immediately contact your Michigan personal injury attorney to find out what your options are if you were injured in a car crash caused by a pothole. Contact personal injury attorney David Femminineo to discuss your case.