On Thursday, Oct. 27, the city of Kissimmee announced the emergency closure of a section of Dyer Boulevard due to pavement failure. This section of Dyer Boulevard, which extends from Carroll Street to Flora Boulevard, will be closed until further notice as repairs to the pavement are made. But what exactly is pavement failure and what are the dangers it can pose to drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians around Osceola County?
What is Pavement Failure?
Pavement failure is the cracking, distortion, and general distressing of the asphalt pavement found on most roads. It can start with a small crack in pavement and slowly develop into a major issue for roadways. Pavement failure can range from dips in the road caused by the wheel tracks of vehicles (known as rutting) to severe sinkholes.
What Causes Pavement Failure?
The cause of pavement failure varies greatly depending on the type of pavement failure. However, weather, insufficient structure, water seepage, poor materials, heavy traffic, and tree growth are usually the culprits for these distresses to asphalt, according to trade publication Asphalt Magazine.
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Some forms of pavement failure, such as corrugation, rutting, and slippage cracks, can be directly attributed to not just heavy traffic, but forces of acceleration and braking placed upon the asphalt by vehicles that frequently stop and start their vehicle in that location. Others, like sinkholes and and blowout cracks, tend to be caused by an issue with the underlying structures beneath of the pavement.
If you notice any telltale cracks, rippling, or upheaval in the road, be sure to report these road conditions to the Osceola Road and Bridge Office.
The Dangers of Pavement Failure
Any driver can feel the difference between driving on a smooth, freshly paved road and one that is bumpy and uneven. While bad road conditions increase the general wear and tear experienced by the cars driving on them, it is the pothole that is attributed to some of the costliest damage. Vehicle repair bills related to pothole damage have cost U.S. drivers $15 billion over the last five years, according to the American Automobile Association. Common pothole damage includes punctured tires and damaged suspension.
Potholes and cracks in the road don’t just hurt wallets — they can seriously injure people as well. Many people have broken an ankle or foot after unwittingly stepping into a pothole while crossing the road.
The risks can be even greater for cyclists. 43 percent of bikers who feared for their safety while biking attributed their fears to uneven road surfaces, according to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Potholes, root cracks, and grooves in the road are all major threats to the safety of cyclists.
The city of Kissimmee closed the portion of Dyer Boulevard experiencing pavement failure in an abundance of caution to prevent accidents. But as our city ages, more of the asphalt roads we rely on to get around will inevitably succumb to some amount of pavement failure, so it’s important to be able to spot the signs of pavement distress and report them.
Road Condition Isn’t the Only Risk
Road condition is only one aspect of road safety that impacts daily commuters. Your fellow drivers can be a risk too. If you or someone you love has been hurt in an accident caused by the negligent actions of another motorist on the road, we may be able to help.
Read more to learn how our car accident attorneys can work with you to recover the maximum compensation you deserve from the insurance companies after your crash. If you are prepared to pursue a claim, fill out our free, no-risk case evaluation form today.