Chicago’s roads are notorious pothole havens and the problem gets much worse after the brutal city winters. As Chicago’s roads fall further into disrepair, these potholes become more than just annoyances. They pose physical and economic risks to drivers who encounter them.
The High Costs of Road Potholes
According to one transportation research group, potholes cost Illinois drivers roughly $5 billion each year. Between the damage that they cause cars and the time that drivers must burn to evade them, potholes have an outsize impact. Chicago’s roads have always been known for being dilapidated. Aging infrastructure now magnifies the problem. Potholes make already dangerous roads even more hazardous.
The problem begins with the aging asphalt on Chicago streets. The surface begins to form small cracks. Water seeps into these cracks and freezes during the winter. This makes the cracks even worse and further degrades the pavement.
The real problem begins in the spring when the weather warms. Cars put pressure on the already weakened pavement, causing it to give way. This is how potholes happen. When winter loosens its grip on Chicago, motorists report dodging dangerous potholes on the roadway.
Pothole dangers are numerous. They include:
- Causing an accident by swerving to avoid the pothole
- Getting a wheel stuck in a pothole and flipping over
- Pedestrians stepping into a pothole and becoming injured
Chicago Road Crews Cannot Keep Up
City work crews can barely keep up with the flood of pothole reports during the peak season. Chicago has up to 30 crews working on the road to fill these holes as quickly as possible after they are reported, but it is often not enough. Chicago drivers report continuously bumpy roads and rough rides. Motorists do the best that they can to avoid potholes. However, evading these menaces can sometimes be as dangerous as driving over them.
The city has a legal responsibility to repair potholes within a reasonable amount of time. If not, the city can be legally responsible for the accidents potholes cause. An auto accident attorney can help determine if there is a possible lawsuit against the city. There are some different rules about suing the government that an attorney may be able to clarify.