AAA: Driver tips for pothole season, avoiding car damage

This year so far, AAA said it has responded to nearly 12,000 calls for flat tires in the region.

Alicia Vitarelli Image
Thursday, March 2, 2023
AAA: Driver tips for pothole season, avoiding car damage
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AAA said that potholes in the road can be both dangerous and expensive. So, the organization came out with tips for drivers to stay safe.

It's been a mild winter so far. But another concerning season is still upon us: pothole season.

AAA said that potholes in the road can be both dangerous and expensive. So, the organization came out with tips for drivers to stay safe.

This year so far, AAA has responded to nearly 12,000 calls for flat tires in the region. Sometimes it's unavoidable, but officials said there is a right way to hit a pothole.

"Slow down, do not slam on the brake, ease off the gas, take it as slowly as possible," said Spokeswoman Jane Tidwell from AAA. "Do not turn that wheel or swerve to avoid it, that likely results in losing control of your vehicle and causing more damage. And even worse, perhaps a crash."

This winter has seen temperatures from as high as the 70s to the single digits, which the organization said is a recipe for disaster when it comes to potholes.

AAA advised drivers to pay attention, especially when rain is in the forecast. What looks like a puddle could end up being a pothole.

And some may wonder, what's the average cost of hitting a pothole? It could be around $600, and the damage is not always obvious.

"A flat tire is obvious, but you could hit a crater out there in the roadway and not have a flat tire," said Tidwell. "But you find out later that you damaged your wheel alignment, your axle struts, shock absorbers, and many other things underneath the hood."

The key to keeping costs down is not to disregard any vibration or anything that feels or sounds different about your vehicle.

"Have your vehicle checked out immediately to make sure that you're not causing more damage, or putting yourself more at risk for something happening while you're driving," Tidwell said. "If you wait, you could be looking at upwards of at least $1,000 in damage, if not more."

Lastly, always check that you have a spare tire, as nearly one-third of new vehicles come from a factory without a spare.