BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — We’ve all had the misfortune of hitting a pothole on the road. These gaps are created when water seeps into the pavement, and then freezes during winter. This usually results in large cracks in the road, eventually leading to the formation of potholes.

While these potholes are an annoyance to many at most, the truth is that potholes can cause not only serious dents in peoples’ vehicles, but in their wallets as well. According to the AAA, potholes cause, on average $3 billion dollars in damage nationwide each year — but as a new study from QuoteWizard shows, different states contribute to different amounts to the overall cost. By looking at Google search statistics, the site identified the number of pothole-related complaints and repairs since January 2023.

North Dakota itself is slightly above the middle then it comes to the states with the worst potholes, with an average search index score of 12 and securing 24th place. In terms of the top ten states, though, the Midwest is still full of those who struggle after run-ins with potholes. A number of the areas where searches were most frequent are in our vicinity — including South Dakota and Minnesota, the latter of which is actually the highest-ranked state on the list.

StateRankSearch Index Average
New Jersey924
South Dakota1024

In terms of cities, Fargo holds a degree of notoriety when it comes to pothole problems as well — the city has the 15th highest level of searches of any in the nation, with a search index average of 13. Excluding cities like Minneapolis, and New York City, other cities reporting large numbers of searches include those in Washington, California, and California.

CityRankSearch Index Average
Los Angeles, California177
Minneapolis, Minnesota245
San Francisco, California336
Spokane, Washington433
Yakima, Washington532
Sacramento, California627
Duluth, Minnesota725
Bowling Green, Kentucky821
New York, New York918
Fresno, California1016

While the full demographics of the study could not be identified, QuoteWizard noted that drivers between the ages of 35 and 44 are more likely to strike potholes and pay more than any other age group — with nearly 1/3 of drivers stating that they’ve had to pay for pothole damage in the past year.

Potholes can do more than cause a lump in the road — including pop tires, damage wheel rims, throw off vehicle alignment, and can even ruin your car’s engine, shocks, or exhaust system. It’s important to know of the risks that can come with hitting a pothole, esepcially because those who are unfortunate enough so strike them tend to be repeat offenders. AAA also notes that once a car has been damaged by a pothole, it will often occur at least two more times within the span of five years.

Taking care of pothole damage can also be a costly endeavor. The average repair bill associated with pothole-related damages is $306, but in 64% of cases, the average repair bill tends to be $250 or less. For 30% of people, the repair bill for pothole damage often falls between $250-$1,000, and only 6% result in a bill of over $1,000.

To learn more about potholes, how to avoid them, and how to obtain proper insurance in the event you hit one, visit AAA’s website here. You can view the full study from QuoteWizard on this page.