A sure sign of Spring, more potholes are showing up on Michigan roads. 

Photo: Maudib, ThinkStock

Spring thaw, rain and temperature variations lead to more potholes warns the Road Commission of Kalamazoo County (RCKC).

What is the science behind potholes? RCKC explains: "Potholes form when water seeps into cracks and voids on paved roads during freeze/thaw cycles. Water becomes trapped in the voids of the road surface and then freezing conditions occur causing the water to expand and become ice. The expansion of the ice formation within and under the asphalt forces the road surface to fracture and heave. The temperature then rises melting the ice and leaving unbonded asphalt pieces in the road that will eventually work loose and are forced to the shoulder with continued vehicular traffic."

Potholes can, of course, damage your car so here are some tips:

  • Increase following distance from the car in front of you giving you more time to react.
  • Minimize distractions like cell phone use while driving.
  • If impact is unavoidable, the Road Commission of Kalamazoo County advises slowing down then releasing your brakes before impact, allowing your vehicle's suspension full rein to absorb the force.

See a big pothole that need to be repaired?  Call RCKC at (269) 381-3171 or visit the RCKC website at www.kalamazoocountyroads.com/contact.php.

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