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Potholes are a nuisance on the roads because they can cause significant damage to cars and endanger drivers. While many may assume that states with harsh winters or high traffic volumes would have the most potholes, the reality may surprise them. According to recent studies, the state with the highest average number of potholes is not the one that immediately comes to mind. In fact, it may be a state that many people associate with other industries entirely. Let’s explore which state has the most potholes on average and examine some possible reasons why this might be the case.

Hazardous potholes in New York are a growing concern

A Stanz dump truck in Manhattan, New York, falling into a sinkhole that grew out of a pothole
A dump truck falling into a sinkhole | Theodore Parisienne for NY Daily News via Getty Images

Potholes are a common issue affecting roads across the United States, and New York is no exception. According to a report by Diamond Injury Law, these road hazards are formed due to the infiltration of water into the road surface, which then freezes and thaws repeatedly, causing the pavement to crack and break apart.

Fox5NY reported in 2021 that the pothole problem in New York City had become particularly severe. However, the concern is not limited to the city, as potholes can be found on roads throughout the state. Potholes can be a serious hazard for drivers, as hitting one at high speed can cause significant damage to a vehicle’s tires, wheels, suspension, and even its body. It’s essential for drivers to be aware of the potholes and take precautions to avoid them whenever possible, such as reducing speed and staying alert to road conditions.

Michigan takes the top spot for potholes

While New York ranks at No. 10 in the nation for potholes, Michigan takes the top spot with a search index of 44. According to a report by News10, Michigan’s harsh winter weather conditions, combined with its aging infrastructure, contribute to the widespread potholes in the state.

The Michigan Department of Transportation encourages drivers to report potholes on state roads through its online reporting system and to exercise caution when driving over them to avoid causing damage to their vehicles. Aside from being a nuisance for drivers, they can pose a safety hazard and lead to costly vehicle repairs. As the state continues to invest in road repairs, it’s hopeful that the pothole problem will improve in the future.

Highest ranked states after Michigan

While Michigan takes the crown for having the highest number of potholes, it’s not the only state facing this issue. Other states also struggle with damaged roads, posing a significant safety hazard to drivers.

Indiana ranks at No. 2 with a search index of 41, meaning that residents in this state have to deal with frequent and severe potholes. The harsh winters and heavy traffic are the primary culprits for Indiana’s potholes. Rhode Island also shares the same search index as Indiana, making it one of the states with the highest number of potholes. The state’s small size and high traffic volume make its roads more susceptible to wear and tear.

Washington comes in at No. 4 with a search index of 38. The state’s wet climate and harsh winter conditions contribute significantly to the formation of road imperfections. In addition, the heavy traffic volume on Washington’s roads only exacerbates the issue. Lastly, Vermont is No. 5 on the list, with a search index of 32. The state’s rural landscape, combined with its fluctuating weather patterns, causes significant damage to its roads. Potholes in Vermont can be particularly hazardous due to their size and depth, making it crucial for drivers to exercise caution.

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