Tips for dealing with spring potholes

March 9, 2011

• Contact the City of Rockford Public Works Department at (815) 987-5771 or (815) 987-5763

From press release

LINCOLN, R.I.—The weather is getting warmer, and the snow is finally melting, which means pothole season is here. This is bad news for motorists, since potholes can cause flat tires, costly damage to hubcaps and rims, and even suspension and structural damage.

“Potholes are everywhere—on main roads, side roads and even in parking lots,” said Scott Wendel, automobile physical damage manager at Amica Insurance. “If possible, it’s best to avoid them, so be on the lookout—but never swerve into oncoming traffic to avoid a pothole. That can cause even more problems, for everyone involved.”

Here are a few other suggestions to avoid damage from potholes:

• Watch out for puddles on the roadway, since they may be hiding a pothole.

• Leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you so you can see the road’s surface and spot potholes in advance.

• Make sure tires are inflated properly, which can help minimize damage if you do hit a pothole.

• Hold the steering wheel tightly to avoid losing control of your vehicle if it hits a pothole.

“If you do hit a pothole, don’t jam on your brakes, because that can cause even more damage,” Wendel said. “In fact, hitting even one pothole can cause serious damage to your vehicle, so make sure you check your car for damage afterward.”

Here are a few things to look for:

• Make sure your tires aren’t damaged and your wheels aren’t bent.

• Listen for strange noises or vibrations.

• Check your car’s wheel alignment.

Don’t forget to report dangerous potholes to your local transportation department, Wendel suggested.

“You can’t control how many potholes are on the roads,” Wendel said. “But with a little focus, hopefully you’ll get through pothole season with your car intact.”

Editor’s note: Report a pothole in the City of Rockford by filling out the form at http://www.ci.rockford.il.us/forms/report-a-pothole.aspx or by calling the City of Rockford Public Works Department at (815) 987-5771 or (815) 987-5763.

From the March 9-15, 2011, issue

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