Indiana Winters & Roadway Deterioration

Spoiled asphalt and pothole. Photo of an old road with cracks.Indiana Winters & Roadway Deterioration

It is pothole season in Indianapolis. You know what I’m talking about. You can’t drive down city streets without having to dodge pot holes left and right – and if you miss one, enjoy a nice “thud” and a potential blown out tire. So, what causes potholes and why does Indianapolis have such a pothole problem?

Potholes are caused by the expansion and contraction of ground water that has seeped under the pavement. The groundwater freezes underneath the asphalt causing expansion, bending and cracking in the asphalt, weakening the pavement. When the ice melts, the pavement contracts and leaves gaps in the surface under the pavement. With drastic temperature swings in Indiana, the water will freeze and thaw over and over all winter long and into the spring which weakens the pavement. The more heavily trafficked the roadway is, the more likely that the pieces of the roadway will be displaced or broken, and a pothole will be created.

Potholes Can Damage Your Vehicle & Lead to Serious Accidents

There is no doubt that hitting a pothole and hear that loud “thud” isn’t a good sign for your car. Poor roadways wear your tires faster and decrease your gas mileage. But an even more serious problem is that potholes can cause accidents. An unavoidable or extra-large pothole is a blow that your car is not equipped to handle. Hitting a pothole may cause you to lose control of your car leading to an accident. Motorcycles are even more likely to lose control after hitting a pothole.  In these situations, you may have a tort claim. against the government entity responsible for maintaining the roadway.

At Keller & Keller we have handled several motorcycle accidents and car accident claims that were the result of a vehicle losing control due to a pothole in the roadway.

22% of Indiana’s Roadways are in Poor Condition

According to an article published by The Washington Post, 22% of Indiana’s roadways are in “poor” conditions. These conditions cost Indiana residents an annual vehicle operation and maintenance expense of $366 annually.

How to Report Potholes in Indiana

When winter is in full swing, the Indiana Department of Transportationis reminding the public to be on the lookout for potholes. Crews try to fix issues as they arise but rely on tips from residents.

Below is information on how to report potholes in your area:

Marion County: contact the Mayor’s Action Centerat (317) 327-4622 or here

Greenwood: report online here.

Carmel: contact the city’s street department at (317) 733-2001

Fishers: online request tracker

Noblesville: submit requests through the city’s action center

Hamilton County: online through the Hamilton County Highway Department

State Roads: INDOT online or by calling (855) 463-6848 or via email

Megan Fennerty
Indiana personal injury lawyer dedicated to securing justice for clients.
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