Local News

A plethora of potholes: How Mass. ranks against other states

Massachusetts ranked better than some other New England states.

A deep pothole on South Huntington Ave. City of Boston DPW pothole crew patrol around the city fixing potholes on Boston streets. (David L Ryan/Globe Staff)

With our harsh winters, it may come as a surprise to many residents that Massachusetts did not make the top 10 list of states with the worst pothole problems.

It wasn’t far behind though. A new report from QuoteWizard found that Massachusetts ranked 12th in the country for worst pothole problems.

The report found that Michigan had the most serious pothole problem, while Wyoming had the least.

Other New England states did make the top 10 list though. Rhode Island came in third, after Indiana, and Vermont came in fifth, after Washington.

To determine where potholes are most prevalent, QuoteWizard, an insurance quote website, analyzed search data for pothole-related complaints and repairs in each state over the last year.


The research team then created a search index average, representing the number of searches in a particular state or city compared to other states and cities.

Boston itself ranked well compared to other cities. Out of the 50 most populous cities in the U.S., it came in at number 34. Burlington, Vermont, however, did not fare as well, taking the number 10 spot.

Nashville, Tennessee, was found to have the most serious pothole problem, while Sacramento, California, seemed to struggle the least with potholes.

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The report also looked at the impacts of pothole damage and found that nationally, on average, people pay $306 to fix damage done to their car by potholes.

Common car damage caused by potholes includes popping a tire, throwing off your car’s alignment, and damaging wheel rims, shocks, struts, exhaust systems, and engines.

Even so, the report said, the cost of repair is not just determined by how bad the damage is, but by the quality of your car insurance.

According to the report, people aged 35 to 44 are the most likely to suffer pothole damage to their car. Additionally, it said, once a car suffers pothole damage, it is likely to be damaged by a pothole twice more within five years.


To avoid pothole damage, QuoteWizard said, make sure your tires are properly inflated and your tread grooves are deep enough.

If you can’t avoid a pothole, it said, keep your foot on the brake pedal and try to straighten your wheel before hitting the pothole.


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