Key facts about potholes

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You probably think of the potholes in New York as nothing more than annoyance, but the reality is that they can actually be rather dangerous. They cause car accidents every year, and some reports claim billions of dollars of damage is done to vehicles on America’s highways. Below are some key facts about potholes.

— Many roads are simply outdated. Most highways in the country were constructed with the idea that they’d last for five decades. This was done between 1950 and 1970. The oldest are already well over that mark, and even the newest from that group — built in 1970 — are very close.

— Potholes have many causes. Winter weather is a big one, as water gets into the roads, freezes, and cracks the pavement. Other factors include time, traffic, wear and tear, and heat.

— Because of the role of water, areas that aren’t designed to drain very well often fair the worst.

— New York ranks sixth in the nation when looking at cities with the worst roads. It’s estimated that 51 percent of all roads rank as “poor” in the state.

— For the sake of comparison, Los Angeles is the worst, with 64 percent of the roads ranking as poor. Out of the top 20, Boston is 19th, with 39 percent of the roads ranking as poor.

— Every year, there are about 33,000 traffic fatalities, and roughly 11,000 of them involve bad road conditions.

If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a rough road or a pothole, you may be able to seek compensation.

Source: Pothole, “The Pothole Facts,” accessed June 28, 2016

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