While potholes can occur any time of year, they are most prevalent in the northeast in late winter or early spring. Heavy traffic, aging pavement and frequent patching will lead to cracks. During the winter, snow and water fills those cracks and freezes, expanding and moving the pavement. Once the thaw begins and the ice in the pavement melts, potholes appear.
Avoiding potholes is difficult and sometimes impossible. Should you drive into one, you may damage your exhaust system, suspension, alignment and/or tires and rims. From a safety standpoint, many drivers swerve quickly to avoid potholes, causing serious crashes. And, driving into a pothole unexpectedly can cause you to lose control, leading to additional danger.
Try to avoid potholes by staying alert and attentive behind the wheel. If you see a pothole, states encourage you to report the locations so maintenance can be scheduled. In some states, vehicle owners can file a claim to request reimbursement for damage resulting from hitting a pothole.
For more information, visit these websites to learn more about your state’s policies or call the numbers provided:
- Connecticut DOT or call (860) 291-7371
- New Jersey DOT call 1-800-POTHOLE
- New York DOT or call 1-800-POTHOLE
- Massachusetts DOT or call (857) 368-4636
- Rhode Island DOT or call (401) 222-2450