It might seem like a minor annoyance when you hit an unexpected pothole. Your first thought is wondering whether or not you’ve damaged your car’s suspension and your second is probably “Someone should do something about that.” But what happens when a pothole is more than a nuisance? The truth is that pothole accidents can lead to serious damages and pileups and may raise questions about liability.

Research from the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission of the U.S. Congress shows that it will take $185 each year just to maintain roads in the U.S., even though the country currently only invests around $68 billion. That means more cracks in the road and more pothole accidents.


Potholes get formed by excessive heat, time, wear and tear, and freezing cycles. Since San Diego is home to a great deal of traffic, the roads get worn down more quickly than in urban areas, generating more potholes. In fact, 55% of San Diego roads were ranked as “in poor condition” in a recent analysis. It’s a myth that potholes and pothole accidents only happen during cold-weather climates, since other cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco also top the list for a high percentage of the roads in poor condition. 

Pothole accidents can happen very suddenly if you don’t spot a problem in the road before your front wheels hit it. If you stop suddenly due to your own control or the vehicle getting stuck in a major pothole, someone following closely behind you could also end up in an accident. Pothole accidents may involve claims against the city or entity responsible for maintaining the roads if it was a known problem or if others had complained about it/been in pothole accidents there in the past.