According to Wikipedia, most potholes are formed “due to fatigue of the pavement surface.” Which begs the obvious question, how can we make sure our roads are getting more rest? Perhaps if we don’t drive over them so often?

Potholes are bad.

Who among us has never driven into a pothole and damaged his or her automobile?

Huh?

Well, answer me.

That’s right, we’ve all been subjected to the evil wrought by the cycle of freezing and melting that rends craters into the paved surfaces upon which we are called upon to navigate our cars.

But what can be done?

Obviously, there is much research required. Have, for example, potholes become worse in the last several years? If so, could one of the following phenomena have helped exacerbate the pothole problem?

- Global warming
- Steroid use
- Wall Street speculators
- The Bush Administration

According to Wikipedia, most potholes are formed “due to fatigue of the pavement surface.”

Which begs the obvious question, how can we make sure our roads are getting more rest?

Perhaps if we don’t drive over them so often?

Water, that most seemingly innocuous of substances, can actually seep into the cracks lining our fatigued roadways and speed a pothole’s formation.

According to leading scientists, water expands as it freezes. And, things that expand tend to get bigger causing more pavement damage.

Science has also proven that the chances for water to freeze and subsequently expand increase dramatically when the temperature dips below the freezing point.

The ideal conditions for reaching this so-called “freezing point” in this part of the world most frequently occur during “winter.”

Since winter appears here to stay, we must resign ourselves to the likelihood that freezing will continue to occur on an annual basis.

Ergo, ipso facto, and duh, potholes will also continue to occur.

Which brings us back to the original question – what can be done?

One rough rule of thumb would be to bypass any motor vehicle interaction or, “drive around them.”
Another means of combating this resolute enemy would involve, “filling them in,” or “patching” them. This technique, however, is best left to those familiar with “what they’re doing,” and not ventured upon by enthusiastic amateurs.

If you do inadvertently drive into a pothole, you have the following options:

- Bury your face in your hands and bemoan your fate.
- Get out of your car and carefully inspect it for damage before burying your face in your hands and bemoaning your fate.
- Write your congressman.
- Make an earnest effort to include more fiber in your diet.

Frank Mulligan is an editor in GateHouse Media’s Raynham, Mass., office and can be reached at fmulliga@cnc.com.