Wouldn’t it be nice to know which stretches of highway and interstate in Virginia were smooth and pothole-free before you went on a long drive or commute? Well, now you can, thanks to the Virginia Department of Transportation’s app. The app is simply called the Pavement Condition App and you can view it on a mobile device or laptop. The Pavement condition of the road is symbolized according to colors as Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor, Very Poor, and Not Rated.
Potholes and rough roads are more than just a lowly annoyance. In fact they cause billions of dollars in vehicle damages and a large portion of highway deaths. Roads are an integral part of our everyday life. 24 million children (one half) of our nation’s k-12 school population ride on 450,000 school buses 180 days per year on these roads. As well as 50,000 ambulances that make more than 60 million trips a year.
- Of approximately 33,000 traffic fatalities each year, one-third involve poor road conditions.
- 27 percent of major urban roads (interstates, freeways and other arterial routes) are deemed substandard and provide unacceptably rough rides for motorists. Only 31 percent of roads are deemed to be in good condition.
- Vehicular traffic overall is expected to increase by 25% by the year 2030. Large commercial vehicle traffic is projected to increase over that time by 64 percent.
- The grave danger that potholes present to bicyclists can also be costly to municipalities that fail to fix hazardous potholes and face multi-million dollar lawsuits as a result.
Rough roads can be factors in not only car accidents but motorcycle accidents as well. For example, a biker must balance, operate two brakes, steer, shift, and operate the clutch all while navigating roads that could be rife with hazards such as pot holes, grooves, or rough pavement. Poor road conditions such as missing guardrails, erosion, pot holes and faulty design can be the cause of serious car damage or even injuries for the unwary driver. But, whether a person can sue for the resulting damage or injuries is a complicated question.
As Virginia personal injury attorneys we know that a plaintiff who is a victim of a car accident due to poor road conditions must prove that the road conditions actually caused the damage to the car and/or the injuries. The plaintiff must also show that the agency or company responsible for maintaining the road was negligent in its duty to provide a safe roadway -- or that they failed to adequately warn drivers of a potential hazard.