Pothole Damage Costs Americans $3 Billion Annually

potholes-californiaRecent heavy storms in Sacramento have caused dangerous asphalt pavement failures in the region. Potholes result when water gets under the pavement, disrupting the supporting soil, and vehicle traffic then breaks the weakened asphalt surface.

Drivers usually go out of their way to avoid potholes, and — according to a new study — they may have good reason to do so.

A recent study conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA) revealed that potholes cost U.S. drivers around $3 billion each year. This staggering statistic reflects the financial burden associated with pothole-related car accidents, vehicle damages and medical treatment.

According to the AAA study, nearly 16 million U.S. drivers have had some degree of damage done to their vehicles after hitting a pothole.

The most commonly reported damage from hitting a pothole includes:

  • Bent wheels
  • Punctured tires
  • Broken shocks or struts
  • Vehicle misalignment

The study also determined the average cost to repair damage from a pothole was $300. Almost one-third of all drivers involved in the study stated their vehicle had sustained damage from a pothole at least three times over the past five years.

CA Home to Worst Roads in Country

In addition to the AAA study, the national transportation research group TRIP released a report that named several urban areas in California as having the worst roadways in the nation. Areas with streets riddled with potholes and other pavement issues include San Francisco, Los Angeles, Concord, San Jose and Sacramento.

Due to the extensive disrepair of most streets in these cities, California drivers incur costs of approximately $760 each year to fix damage done to their vehicles. In Los Angeles and the Bay Area (where vehicle maintenance is particularly expensive), motorists spend over $1,000 each year on repairs.

Deteriorating streets in California are significantly responsible for raising the national cost of fixing pothole-related damages to $30 billion annually.

Preventing Pothole Damage

In order to diminish vehicle damage caused by potholes, AAA encourages drivers to:

  • Keep tires inflated properly
  • Make sure tires have satisfactory tread depth
  • Slow down, release brakes and steer straight before hitting a pothole
  • Watch the road and increase distance from other vehicles in order to identify potholes and better avoid them

If a pothole led to an auto accident that caused a serious personal injury to you or someone you love, you may be entitled to compensation. Let the car accident lawyers in our Sacramento office aid you in pursing your claim; our skilled attorneys aim to maximize compensation in every case.

Call (916) 777-7777 or fill out our FREE Case Review Form,