Study: Washington ranked No. 1 state with the worst pothole problems

Feb 19, 2024, 5:51 PM | Updated: Feb 20, 2024, 11:49 am


Potholes can be dangerous to drivers and cause a considerable amount of damage. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

It may not surprise those of us who grapple with Washington roads, but the state is ranked #1 regarding pothole problems in a study by AAA as reported in USA Today Blueprint.

Minnesota and Michigan joined Washington in the top three with pothole issues.

The real shock comes when you fold money into the equation. The average pothole repair bill is $460, the number of which has increased by 57% between 2021 and 2022.

Since all states don’t keep pothole counts or issues, the survey is based on Google Trends Data.

Potholes are caused by traffic, surface cracks, and water. They can form at any time of year, but pothole season is in the early spring when the freeze-thaw cycle occurs.

Political news: Seattle PD, FD deliver sobering statistics to Seattle City Council

Areas that are most prone to potholes include:

  • Poor drainage
  • Where roads dip, such as the trough under viaducts
  • With heavy vehicle traffic
  • Where poor maintenance allows small fissures to deteriorate 
    In the US, 15% of drivers need repairs due to potholes each year, and American drivers spend nearly $3 billion a year fixing car damage caused by potholes. 

To report a pothole to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), you can call (509) 324-6566. You can also report an issue on state highways on the feedback page.

By the way, states with the fewest pothole issues: Wyoming, Nevada, and Alabama.

Bill Kaczaraba is a Digital Content Editor at MyNorthwest.


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Study: Washington ranked No. 1 state with the worst pothole problems