Avoiding potholes this winter season

Potholes: Everyone’s worst enemy on the road. They seem to appear out of nowhere during the winter months, but do they really? Potholes form after snow or rain seeps into the soil below the road’s surface. When temperatures drop, moisture freezes, causing the ground to expand and push up the pavement. When temperatures rise again, the ground returns to its normal state, but the pavement remains raised, creating a gap between the pavement and the ground. As vehicles drive over these unstable areas, the road caves into those hollow spaces.

When hit, some of these holes can cause severe damages to your car.

“A lot of times I would just go through the potholes because I never knew where to go with cars coming in and out of the gas station. And I ended up having to get a new car because I messed up the shocks in the bottom of the Toyota Corolla,” experienced one local resident, Ashley Johnson.

To minimize potential damages, it’s best to keep your tires inflated to the recommended pressure, make sure your suspension is in good condition, watch out for puddles that could conceal a deep pothole, and keep a safe following distance behind other vehicles. If you must hit a pothole, keep a firm grip on the wheel and slow down, but do not brake while driving over the pothole. And most importantly, know the signs of trouble after hitting one, such as: unusual vibrations and noises, your car pulling to the left or right, or uneven tire wear.

If you encounter a pothole, report it.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Public Information Officer, Wes Watt, informs us, “We have an online system for that on our website. We do need people to give exact locations. So what is the route number? What county is it in? Things like that. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet handles state routes. So if it’s got a KY designation or US designation, those are the routes that we handle. We don’t handle neighborhood roads or city-county roads.”

Potholes on neighborhood roads and city-county roads should be reported to the local government.