SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — As it gets warmer and spring comes into full bloom, potholes also become more visible and hard to miss.
AAA is reminding Central New Yorkers that pothole season is upon us with pothole damage up 57%, according to a new survey.
In the new survey from AAA, they found that nearly two in 10 drivers having to get their vehicles repair after hitting one last year and an estimated 44 million drivers experienced pothole damage significant enough to require repair in 2022.
In the winter and spring of 2022, AAA responded to 1.9 million tire-related roadside assistance calls across the country. While AAA does not identify if a roadside assistance request is the result of pothole damage, this number represented 12% of the total calls received in the winter and spring last year.
In order to save yourself from spending money to repair damage from a pothole — which costs an average of $406 — AAA says there’s certain things you can do to prevent yourself from becoming a part of that statistic.
How to Save Your Car and Your Wallet from Pothole Damage
1. Check Your Tires, which includes tread depth, tire pressure, suspension, and alignment
To check your tread depth, insert a quarter into the tread groove with Washington’s head upside down. If you can see the top of Washington’s head, start shopping for new tires.
Check your tire pressure at least once a month before driving when the tires have been at rest and are not hot. Follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure found on a sticker inside the driver’s side door.
Lastly, look for changes in vehicle handling, excessive vibration or uneven wearing of tires, all indications of a problem with the suspension like alignment or shocks.
2. Keep Your Eyes on the Road, an alert and cautious driver is less likely to hit a pothole
Scan the road ahead for potholes and if it’s safe to do so, drive around any in your path.
Standing water or puddles may disguise a deep pothole. Avoid driving through standing water when possible but if you can’t, drive through slowly.
3. If you can’t avoid a pothole, reduce your speed safely and avoid braking abruptly, particularly as you go over the pothole.
Striking a pothole at higher speeds increases the chance of knocking the wheels out of alignment, affecting the steering, and bending or even breaking suspension components.
If you hit a pothole, pay attention to any new or unusual noises or vibrations. If you detect something is off with your vehicle, take it to a trusted repair facility for a full vehicle inspection as soon as possible