Can Ruin A Life, But…
By: Solomon Law Group, LLC

Top 5 Ways a Poorly Maintained Road Can Cause a Wreck

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As a vigilant driver, you’ve probably noticed a variety of hazards on the road that can be hard to avoid. Many of these hazards are caused by poorly maintained roads. Poor road conditions can lead to property damage and personal injury, in the event of an auto collision.

Generally, government agencies and municipalities are required to maintain safe road conditions. In South Carolina, interstate highways, and primary and secondary highways are maintained by the state, according to Section 57-5-10 of the South Carolina Code of Laws. Local roads are maintained by the surrounding municipalities.

Common Hazards on Neglected Roads

Many of these hazards develop because the roads were initially constructed poorly, or the state lacks the funding to repair the roads.

Improper Drainage. Improper drainage occurs on roads when drain pipes or grates are blocked. This is especially dangerous on highways where the speed limits are higher, as hydroplaning is possible.

Lack of Visible Signage. In the event of overgrown trees or plants, road signs may become invisible to drivers. This poses a serious risk when stop signs and yield signs are no longer evident.

Malfunctioning Traffic Signals. In the event a traffic light malfunctions, drivers may not be able to tell when it is safe to begin driving. Traffic signals may stop altogether, or function improperly at the same time. If drivers from opposite sides are given green at the same time, an accident could occur.

Missing Line Markers. As time passes, the white and yellow lines we see on the road begin to fade. If these lines are not repainted, they may disappear altogether. This can be incredibly dangerous when it comes to turning and passing.

Potholes. Potholes develop over time when groundwater freezes and melts under the surface of the road, expanding and contracting. As a result, large chunks of blacktop break away from the road. Potholes can lead to tire malfunctions and rear-end collisions.

Reporting Poorly Maintained Roads in South Carolina

If you are the victim of a car accident because of one of the hazards listed above, or a different road hazard, you can report it to South Carolina’s Department of Transportation. You should report the hazard, whether or not you decide to file a claim, for the sake of other drivers.

If you do choose to file a claim with the state or federal government, you’ll need to examine the road’s survey records to identify discrepancies and prove the governing body should have known about the poor condition. Proving your claim can be difficult without legal representation. Our Columbia, SC car accident lawyers are prepared to represent you. Contact us today.