Many New Englanders cannot wait for spring to arrive. After a long winter, we can finally see the grass and pavement again! However, spring is also the time when potholes begin popping up on our local roadways. Potholes form when water seeps below the pavement, freezes and expands, cracking the asphalt above. Whether you’re on foot, two or four wheels, what should you know about the dangers of potholes?

For Drivers

PotholeAccording to AAA spokesperson Amy Parmenter, driving over a pothole can cause hundreds to thousands of dollars in damage to the vehicle:

  • Tires
  • Suspension
  • Alignment
  • Exterior

Unfortunately, drivers often do not notice a pothole in the road until it’s too late. If you attempt to make a quick maneuver to avoid the crater, you may cause an accident. Rather than react suddenly:

  • Be aware of traffic around you
  • Use your mirrors to check for oncoming traffic
  • Avoid swerving out of your lane

If there is no way to avoid a pit in the road, slow down and keep your steering wheel straight. Speeding over the pothole or slamming on the brakes can do more damage to your vehicle and the passengers inside.

For Pedestrians

Pedestrians also need to pay attention when walking alongside or crossing the street. Tripping over a pothole can result in a bad fall injury, whether you sprain or break a bone in the process. Be on the lookout for these craters and drivers who may swerve over the white line or on to the sidewalk to avoid them.

On Two Wheels

Potholes and other road hazards are especially dangerous for motorists on two wheels. Although a motorcycle’s suspension is designed to absorb some of the shock from bumpy roads, the tires could experience damage from hitting a pothole. In extreme cases, the impact could be so intense that the rider loses control or is thrown from the motorcycle.

Bicycle riders are arguably more prone to falling after hitting a pothole, since the tires are thinner than a motorcycle and bikes weigh much less. As potholes can arise without warning, both motorcycle and bicycle riders should stay alert of road conditions and approach curves with care.
The most careful drivers can still find themselves in a motor vehicle accident. Keep yourself safe this spring by staying aware of your surroundings and the road conditions. If you or a loved one has been injured, contact us to speak with an experienced car accident attorney.