According to the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, it is estimated that about $4.8 billion each year is used to fix damages caused by potholes in the U.S. Around half-a-million auto insurance claims are also filed annually because of this hole-in-the-road.
Aggravated by the weather and extreme snowstorms, potholes which normally occur during springtime are already causing trouble amongst motorists. As such, it is noted that there is a record number of potholes in the streets of Virginia and other states affected by the snow. Martha Meade, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs implied the hazards of having potholes on road surfaces. She stated that it is a “significant threat to the safety of motorists and pedestrians.” The experience of avoiding and hitting one could be disturbing to drivers as both situations present potential dangers. Because a car goes out of its route or alignment after hitting a pothole or by avoiding one, there is a possibility that a vehicle would lose control and result in a crash.
A damage caused by a pothole in a vehicle could amount to thousands of dollars depending upon the damage incurred. Insurance agents estimate that a simple wheel alignment costs about $50 to $500. Expenses for such a repair could amount to more if an expensive alloy wheel would be used. Regarding costs to the life of the car, it adds about $2,000 for maintenance. It is said that most of the expenses come straight out of a motorist’s pocket. While insurers advice of a wider collision coverage in areas which has a tendency to have many potholes, AAA states that it may spike-up rates for future auto insurance coverage.
AAA also said that alignment of the wheel could be altered by hitting even one pothole and produces an uneven tire wear. This means that the wheels would have to be replaced much earlier resulting in unnecessary expenses. He continued that an altered steering wheel from a broken strut or shock, another pothole hazard, could create danger while turning on tight corners at higher speeds. As such, there is a need to immediately fix broken suspension components.
Potholes are often created due to fatigue of a road’s surface. On states with frequent snowing, it is formed and exacerbated by low temperatures. When water expands because of freezing, it puts great stress on a cracked pavement. Asphalt is also weakened with the combination of rock salt in road cracks when combined with the vibration and weight of passing vehicles. When it becomes large enough, it could cause damage to tires and vehicles.