ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It’s prime pothole development season. In winter and early spring when temperatures change frequently, snow and ice can melt and seep into the pavement. Then, when the temperature drops again, the water refreezes and expands, cracking the road and opening up a pothole.

According to a recent study by LendingTree-affiliate QuoteWizard, Michigan has the worst potholes in the nation, but Vermont and New York aren’t far behind. Vermont was ranked fifth in the study and New York came in tenth, based on Google search statistics. Pollsters said Delaware, Nebraska, and Wyoming have the fewest potholes.

States with the worst pothole problems:

StateRankSearch index average
Michigan144
Indiana241
Rhode Island341
Washington438
Vermont532
Pennsylvania631
New Jersey730
Ohio829
Tennessee929
New York1028
Illinois1121
(Source: QuoteWizard)

According to the study, people between the ages of 35 and 44 are at the highest risk for pothole damage. Almost one-third of drivers in that age category said they’ve dealt with damages in the last year.

Potholes also seem more likely to strike twice—or more accurately, thrice. According to AAA, once your car has been damaged by a pothole, it’s likely to happen at least two more times in the next five years.

AAA officials say the average repair bill associated with a pothole mishap is $306. In 64% of cases, the repair bill is $250 or less, and for 30% of people, the related bill is between $250 and $1,000. Only 6% of incidents result in a bill that’s over $1,000.

How to minimize damage from potholes:

  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated.
  • Make sure your tread grooves are deep enough too.
  • If avoiding a pothole isn’t possible, slow down, keep your foot off the brake pedal, and try to keep the wheel straight before impact.