Britt Drewes Farrar 804-225-4491
Martha M. Meade, AAA Mid-Atlantic 804-323-6510, 804-543-7190
April 24, 2009
PLEASANT WEATHER PRODUCES POTHOLES
RICHMOND – Spring time brings out the kid in all of us, and while the true kids may be playing a bit more dodge ball this spring, motorists will be playing the ever familiar game of dodge the potholes.
“Potholes not only cause jarring bumps to motorists, but are a significant threat to safety,” said Martha M. Meade, manager of public and government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Hitting a pothole can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles, possibly resulting in a crash. Swerving to avoid a pothole can be just as dangerous.”
Potholes are created when moisture seeps into the pavement, freezes, expands then thaws. This weakens the pavement.
Traffic loosens the pavement even more, and eventually it crumbles and pops out.
Spring temperatures warm the cold pavement, melting and evaporating any ice. This creates air pockets that eventually cause the pavement to break up.
A winter of heavy snow or rain and several freeze-thaw cycles can lead to a big pothole season.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is committed to providing motorists with a safe and reliable transportation network. Maintenance crews patrol roadways for roadway damage, including potholes.
Residents play an important role too in helping point out potholes.
Motorists can report a pothole by filling out the pothole reporting form on VDOT’s Web site at http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/citizen.asp or by calling 800-367-ROAD.
Potholes will be repaired as quickly as possible.
VDOT repairs potholes on state-maintained roads only, which include interstate highways and most primary and secondary roads.
Local governments are responsible for repairing potholes on streets in cities and towns as well as on roadways in Henrico and Arlington counties.
Learn more about potholes at http://www.virginiadot.org/info/faq-potholes.asp.
AAA advises motorists to follow the following safety tips when they encounter a pothole:
- Avoid swerving. Swerving can cause a loss of vehicle control.
- Slow down. Carefully avoid impact with potholes.
- Roll through. Rolling through the pothole is better than braking rapidly.
- Properly inflate tires. Over-inflated and under-inflated tires increase risk of tire and wheel damage.
AAA Mid-Atlantic serves nearly 830,000 members in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is the nation’s fifth largest auto club with over 3.6 million members in:
- The District of Columbia
- New Jersey
It provides a wide range of personal insurance, travel, financial and automotive services through its 50-plus retail branches, regional operations centers, and the Internet. For more information on AAA Mid-Atlantic, please visit www.AAA.com and their blog at aaa.com/community.
VDOT is responsible for building, maintaining and operating the state's roads, bridges and tunnels. And, through the Commonwealth Transportation Board, it provides funding for airports, seaports, rail and public transportation.
Virginia has the third-largest state-maintained highway system in the country, behind Texas and North Carolina.
Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.