Driven over a small pothole: what can happen?

If the authorities do not allow potholes to be filled, damage to the vehicle can occur.
If the authorities do not allow potholes to be filled, damage to the vehicle can occur.

the streets of Germany experience one every day high traffic volume. at extreme weather conditions such as persistent heat or ground frost, can quickly occur street damage develop.

A known type of such damage is this pothole, i.e. an open hole, which is located on the roadway. Appropriate signs should point out and tempt road users to speed to to reduce.

But how exactly does it happen? formation of a pothole? Does the Roads and Parks Department have to carry out the repairs? Who is liable for any damage caused? The following guide is dedicated to these questions and provides you with comprehensive information.

FAQ: Pothole

Who is liable for damage caused by a pothole?

In principle, municipalities are obliged to clearly indicate a pothole. If you don’t do this, you can be held liable in court for damage caused by a pothole. However, the burden of proof lies with the driver, so that he often has to bear the repair costs himself.

Will the insurance cover the damage?

If no one can be held liable for the damage caused by a pothole, the person affected must pay the repair costs themselves. However, if there is fully comprehensive car insurance, it usually has to pay for the damage.

Can I repair potholes myself?

In principle, you are not allowed to repair potholes yourself if they are on public roads. The Roads and Parks Department is responsible for this. If there is a pothole on your private property, you can mend it yourself or have it repaired by a company.

How are potholes formed?

Pothole: Describes are intended to indicate the source of the hazard.
Pothole: Describes are intended to indicate the source of the hazard.

A pothole usually occurs in winter or at very low temperatures. Below we want to give you the four steps explain what it takes to create a pothole in the road:

  1. If the asphalt is old, brittle or has only been insufficiently repaired, small cracks or holes appear through which water can get into the so-called gravel layer under the road surface.
  2. At low temperatures, precisely this water can now freeze and thus expand. As a result, the asphalt is practically lifted upwards.
  3. As soon as the ice thaws again, pools of water form under the road surface, which softens the subsoil.
  4. If a car drives over this part of the road, it is not uncommon for the surface to crumble under the weight and a pothole to form.

Good to know: At least as dangerous as a pothole are the so-called “blow ups”. These can occur on the freeway when temperatures climb above 30 degrees. If the road surface heats up too much, it bulges and can eventually burst open. Therefore, special caution is required in high heat.

Pothole: Possible damage to vehicles

If the pothole is not repaired immediately and road users simply drive over the hole in the asphalt, they can serious damage to the car develop. Slashed tyres, damaged carcasses or a bent rim edge are just a few examples.

It can get much worse if the pothole causes damage to the vehicle suspension arises or even this tears off. Also the The vehicle’s oil pan can be damagedso that extensive, expensive repair measures are necessary.

How to report a pothole

If you notice a pothole, it is advisable to use it at the responsible office for road construction to Report. You can easily find a phone number on the Internet. In some cities and municipalities it is also possible to report potholes online.

Can you repair potholes yourself?

As is well known, the mills of the authorities sometimes work rather slowly and so it can happen that a Known pothole is, however not repaired for a long time becomes. If road users are annoyed by this, some people get the idea that Fix road damage yourself.

While this is a noble undertaking, it is forbidden. Mending a pothole is task of the authorities. So you better keep your hands off. The road construction office has to repair a pothole (or have it repaired) due to the traffic safety obligation.

On their private property is it of course allowedthat you Repair potholes yourself. As a rule, however, it is advisable to entrust an expert with this task.

Who is liable for damage caused by a pothole?

Damage caused by a pothole: who pays?
Damage caused by a pothole: who pays?

Is once a Damage from a pothole emerged, the question inevitably arises as to who is responsible for this be liable got to. Various courts have already dealt with this. In the event of damage caused by a pothole, many of those affected decide to city to Sue.

have in court most are unsuccessful. As soon as the community, city or municipality through a corresponding Road sign warning of road damage has, she can usually no longer be prosecuted for it.

In this context also § 3 paragraph 1 road traffic regulations (StVO) of great importance:

Anyone driving a vehicle may only drive so fast that the vehicle is under constant control. In particular, the speed must be adapted to the road, traffic, visibility and weather conditions as well as personal abilities and the properties of the vehicle and load. […]

So the driver carries himself the responsibility for driving like that Avoid damage from potholes as much as possible will. In case of doubt, the speed must be adjusted accordingly for this purpose.

Good to know: Various judgments show that the legal action against a city because of a pothole as a rule can only be successfulif the authorities did not draw attention to the road damage with a traffic sign.

Pothole: Does comprehensive insurance cover the damage?

It is therefore not uncommon for those affected to have to pay for the damage caused by a pothole themselves. the Partially comprehensive insurance does not usually cover such claims.

However Comprehensive insurance often reimburses the repair costs. However, you should only claim this if the damage is significant, otherwise the insurance premium could rise.

So it’s worth it single case to check, if it really makes senseto take advantage of insurance benefits.