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Potholes and Wet Roads

Why Are There More Potholes in Spring?

Each year as the snow melts in Michigan, it seems there are many more potholes than there were before. That’s not your imagination. The truth is that there are more potholes each spring because of water freezing and unfreezing on the roads, causing cracks and creases. But where do these potholes come from and why do they matter? Let’s take a closer look.

Expand and Contract

The most basic road material, asphalt, is porous. That means it is full of small holes that take in water. When snow falls on top of the roads, the water gets into those small cracks and turns to ice.

But water expands when it freezes, forcing the hole to become bigger than it originally was. If the water seeps into the road and then freezes, it will force the road to rise. As the water melts, more water gets into the hole, and then freezes again. Each time this happens, the asphalt gets weaker.

When the ice melts in spring the space under the road becomes hollow. That means cars and other heavy machinery driving over these spots can cause the asphalt to collapse, forming a crater.

Perhaps worst of all is that the same salt and brine that makes our roads safe to drive on actually increases the formation of these potholes because it causes more melting and freezing cycles.

Why It Matters

Everyone complains about potholes, but it’s important to understand why they are dangerous. Not only can hitting a pothole damage your suspension, but it could also cause you to lose control, especially if you are the driver who causes the crater.

Hitting a particularly deep pothole can be similar to experiencing a tire blowout. Your vehicle will list in the direction of the pothole and you could inadvertently drift into across lanes and hit another vehicle.

This can be an issue for commercial trucks. One bad pothole can also blow a tire, leading to the potential for a dangerous truck accident.

Likewise, motorcycles are at an extremely high risk of crashing just by hitting a pothole. Therefore, it’s always wise to look at the road ahead and do your best to avoid these hazards without causing a crash. We’ll see motorcycles on the road soon as 70-degree days are not that far away.

If you were injured in a car accident, we can help. To discuss your case with an experienced Auburn Hills personal injury attorney from Bashore Green Law Group, please call us at (248) 487-1887 or send us an email.