Road funding is no longer a high priority to South Carolina lawmakers, given that the 2015 session has lapsed with no steps to improve our roads. The bumps, potholes, and unevenness that make driving unpleasant are more than just a nuisance; bad roads can create dangerous situations that lead to devastating accidents.
Potholes are an inevitable part of the changing seasons. They are created when water seeps beneath the pavement, turns to ice, and causes the roads to expand when the temperatures cool down. As cars drive over the weakened concrete, potholes are formed in its place. The potholes in South Carolina are widely attributed to poor maintenance, and the number of potholes— and the number of accidents and the damage they cause— seems to be increasing over the years.
Dangers of the Formation of Potholes
Upon formation, the weakened concrete inevitably crumbles, and leaves large, dangerous pieces on the roads. Drivers may see this debris and swerve, slam on their brakes, or veer into oncoming traffic in order to avoid the concrete fragments. These pieces of concrete can also cause significant damage to vehicles.
Dangers of Potholes and other Adverse Road Conditions
South Carolina lawmakers know of the poor road conditions; in fact, the state paid nearly $700,000 to claimants regarding damage to their vehicles or person due to the presence of potholes on our roads in the year 2014 alone. Potholes and large cracks in the concrete may cause drivers to swerve, slow down rapidly, slam on their brakes, and even lead to people losing control of their vehicles entirely. The damage of these incidents can be significant, not only in terms of the vehicle, but in terms of the safety of others. For example, a blown tire could hit a windshield or debris from an accident could hit pedestrians or passing cars, or an axle could dislodge from a vehicle and be run over by another car. All of these are serious situations that can cause significant amounts of harm, but are also very avoidable.
When roads are under construction there are similar hazards to watch out for. For example, metal plates will often be placed over gaps in the concrete, which can be extremely hard on wheels and vehicles that are low to the ground. Cars may slow down significantly or even slam on their brakes when approaching such an obstacle, which can be hazardous to the drivers behind. Cones or work debris may fall into already-narrow roads. These are just a few of the many hazardous situations to look for when roads are under construction.
Despite there being an accessible opportunity for citizens to report these hazards, our roads continue to deteriorate. It is important to drive carefully on roads you know are rough, and to take extra caution when driving through work zones. Always keep an appropriate distance between you and the vehicle in front of you in case they stop quickly due to a hazard you may not see.
Columbia, South Carolina Auto Accident Attorneys
The state has an obligation to keep their roads in good condition. If you or anyone you know has been injured in an auto accident due to poor road conditions, you may be entitled to compensation. At Solomon Law Group, our experienced auto accident attorneys know how frustrating it can be driving on bad and unsafe roads. We also know how to help when these bad roads are destroying your vehicles and causing you harm. Contact our Central South Carolina Columbia law office for a complimentary consultation today.
When the Brakes Break: Sharing the Road with Cyclists