A new study reveals what South Carolina drivers have long known – Palmetto State potholes are among the worst in the country.

The new study by QuoteWizard found that South Carolina ranks as having the 14th worst pothole issues in the United States.  The company, an insurer, obtained this data by tracking and analyzing the search data of pothole-related complaints and repairs for each respective state for the last year.

The state’s high ranking is perhaps not too shocking to many, especially considering a 2022 report from a national group that analyzes surface transportation found South Carolina drivers paid a collective total of $1.7 billion a year as a result of deteriorating roads — which includes pesky pothole damages.

Yes, our roads suck

Earlier this year, City Paper used a free, crowdsourced app called Carbin — which was developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) — to measure the quality of Charleston’s roads and streets. To say the least, the findings were not good. Charleston City Paper was unable to locate a good quality road in Charleston.

Out of the 40+ routes in the Charleston area measured by the newspaper , no roads in downtown Charleston were classified as good quality. The worst roadways measured by City Paper in Charleston were Chalmers Street, Line Street, Hagood Avenue, Ashley Avenue and Calhoun Street.  

How to protect yourself from potholes?

There are a multitude of ways in which potholes can do serious harm to vehicles, which includes popping tires, inflicting damage to wheel rims, ravaging engine or exhaust systems and throwing off a vehicle’s alignment, as well as ruining the shocks and struts of the vehicle, according to QuoteWizard.

So what can Charleston drivers do to protect themselves from potentially destructive pothole damages and costly repairs?

QuoteWizard recommends drivers look into getting collision insurance, because while most people may associate collision insurance as strictly providing coverage for vehicles that collide with other vehicles, it also generally covers vehicles that are damaged from hitting potholes as well. 

Additionally, QuoteWizard suggests drivers should properly inflate their tires and ensure that tread grooves on each one are deep enough. If avoiding a pothole is not possible, drivers are encouraged to slow down, avoid hitting the brake pedal and straighten the steering wheel before the impact occurs.

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