If you ask anyone in Lawton, a common answer you would get would be that the town's roads are not in the best condition. With the recent rain, not only are our lakes, creeks and rivers flooding but it has also caused the formation of another menace that we seem to have overlooked, the pothole.With the recent rains more of these cracks and potholes have been appearing on the roads which can potentially cause damage to your tires and vehicles. How does a pothole form?

Many factors cause a formation of potholes as they come in many different shapes and sizes.

photo by James Meeks

Potholes are caused by the presence of water in the underlying soil structure and the presence of traffic passing over the affected area. Introduction of water to the underlying soil structure first weakens the supporting soil. Traffic then break and fatigues the poorly supported asphalt base.

With the increased rain, the water has been getting absorbed into the ground which is weakening the soil base. We're not receiving enough breaks in the rain to let the soil dry and when we do receive a break long enough to the soil to dry, the rain comes back again.

photo by James Meeks

Keep these in mind when you see a pothole on the road:

  • Leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front of you. That way you are more likely to spot potholes
  • Keep your tires inflated. A properly inflated tire will help protect you from broken and dipping pavement
  • If a pothole is holding water, avoid it. You can't properly judge how deep the hole is and running over the hole could leave you with a busted tire.

Not only do potholes damage roads but they can also cause damage to your vehicles such as:

  • Tire puncture,
  • Damage or wear
  • Wheel rim damage
  • Premature wear on shocks and struts
  • Suspension damage, including broken components
  • Steering system misalignment
  • Exhaust system damage
  • Engine damage