Old bridges, potholes, and other roadway hazards in need of repair may not seem like a priority to local, city, and state governments. Unsafe road conditions that exist for long periods of time—sometimes for years—may be passed by due to lack of funding or a backlog of repairs that is too much for the current roadwork budget to handle.
Motorists and residents are forced to live with problems on their local streets that become so serious over time they not only present a risk of damage to vehicles that pass through, but the danger can also rise to the level of causing car crashes.
When road maintenance isn’t kept up, it begins to become a problem for those who use the road. Many people are familiar with the long-standing problem of bridge maintenance in the United States. The American Society of Civil Engineers reports that nationally 9.1% of bridges are “structurally deficient” and that bridge maintenance is underfunded billions of dollars every year.
Bridges get a lot of attention, but the roads themselves can’t be ignored. Potholes cause trouble for vehicles around Indianapolis, both on major highways and city streets. When drivers encounter unexpected road damage, it sometimes leads to accidents.
When poor road conditions, such as potholes, cause vehicle damage, drivers can file a claim with the government agency responsible for maintaining the road, although the chance of recovering damages isn’t very good. But if a driver crashes into you and blames poor road conditions, that’s not a good excuse to explain away the crash.
Drivers are always expected to exercise caution, and when they encounter dangerous roads, they need to act responsibly, which might mean reducing speed to maintain control or safely changing lanes before driving into a pothole or other hazard. The city might, in some cases, be found negligent for not fixing a known road problem quickly enough, but drivers are responsible for the safe operation of their own vehicles.
There are many, many causes of auto and truck accidents, but study after study shows that there is one critical factor in almost every crash: the driver. Human error, whether the result of distracted driving, operating under the influence, driving at unsafe speeds, or outright reckless or negligent operation, has been found to be at the root of about 94% percent of all car accidents.
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a crash, contact the attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. An Indianapolis car accident lawyer from WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
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