Potholes costing drivers billions in repairs, storms increase the risk

potholedamageFlorida’s heavy rains and storms cause more than just flooded roadways. They cause potholes that cost motorists billions of dollars in repairs, AAA said Wednesday.

Potholes are formed by water intrusion in the cracks of the asphalt. As a result, the material laid underneath the road softens causing weak spots to collapse under the weight of constant traffic. AAA cautions drivers to remain alert to avoid pothole damage and urges state and local governments to fully fund and prioritize road maintenance to reduce vehicle damage, repair costs and driver frustration.

The average vehicle repair bill for pothole damage is $300.

According to AAA’s survey, pothole damage has cost U.S. motorisst approximately $3 billion a year in vehicle repairs over the last five years.

“This is definitely a concern,” said Montrae Waiters, spokeswoman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “It’s critical that state and local governments focus on road maintenance to reduce cost for motorists, but safety should be the number one concern. Potholes can lead to car accidents when motorists are forced to swerve to avoid them leading to a crash with another vehicle, putting their lives and the lives of others at risk.”

If motorists can’t avoid striking a pothole, it is important to slow down, release the brakes and straighten steering before making contact with the pothole.

AAA offers the following recommendations:

  • To avoid striking a pothole, remain alert, scan the road ahead and drive at least 3-4 seconds behind the vehicle ahead.
  • Since tires are the only “cushion” between a pothole and a vehicle, it’s important to ensure tires are properly inflated and have adequate tread depth.
  • Check to see if your vehicle is equipped with a spare tire or a tire inflator kit. Ensure the spare tire is properly inflated before trouble strikes.

Key survey findings:

15 percent of U.S. drivers (16 million motorists) report sustaining vehicle damage that requires repair as a result of hitting a pothole at least once in the last five years.

  • 20 percent of drivers in the Northeast
  • 16 percent of drivers in the South
  • 15 percent of drivers in the West
  • 10 percent of drivers in the Midwest



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