After being covered with ice at below-freezing temps, the streets have been saturated with rain while warming up the past week. This is prime weather to cause the asphalt on the roads to crack and break apart leaving some pretty gnarly potholes.

The other day, I saw on the Owensboro Police Scanner Facebook page that someone had inadvertently driven over a pothole on one of the main city roads and it took out two of their tires. I don't know if it did any other damage to the vehicle, but depending on how fast they were going I would guess it could have.

How Much Does Pothole Damage Cost Drivers?

According to AAA, "Damage from potholes cost drivers a whopping $26.5 billion dollars in 2021, according to recent AAA survey data. What’s worse is that the survey found that one in 10 drivers who hit a pothole experienced sufficient enough damage to their vehicle that it needed to be repaired. The average cost? Close to $600." Repairing cracked or bent wheels, replacing tires, fixing the suspension and alignment are some of the most common results of driving over a bas pothole.

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How to Prevent Pothole Damage

My friends make fun of me for driving like a Memaw, but I was taught in Driver's Education to stay at least a couple of cars distance between myself and the vehicle ahead of me. This is especially helpful when keeping an eye out for holes in the road. That way, I can slow down and reduce any possible damage. It's also important to keep your tires properly inflated, so don't ignore that "low tire" light when it comes on.

How to Report a Pothole in Kentucky

The City of Owensboro of Owensboro declares a "War on Potholes" every year before winter begins. Since this is the most common time for them to form, if you see one that needs to be fixed, make a mental note of as exact of a location as you can and visit the City Action website here to submit for repair. You can also call 270-687-4444 or email cityaction@owensboro.org. The state of Kentucky also has a website with a form here for reporting potholes and road hazards on state highways or property.

How to File a Claim if a Pothole Damages Your Vehicle

The Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet explains "The Board of Claims ensures an impartial and fair review of all claims filed by citizens who believe their person or property has been damaged through negligence on the part of the Commonwealth of Kentucky." There is no fee to file a claim, but it must be done within a year of the incident by filling out the claim form linked here. If you do find yourself in a situation where a pothole has damaged your vehicle, it is suggested to file a police report for documentation of the event.

 

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions if you need to learn more. Stay safe out there!

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

Gallery Credit: Sophia Crisafulli

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