CINCINNATI, OH (February 26, 2018) – AAA responded to more than 2,300 requests for assistance in the tri-state area over the weekend with call volume peaking on Sunday as motorists navigated flooded roadways due to the torrential rain storm. The majority of the calls were related to damaged tires as motorists encountered potholes and other road debris.
“It was a busy weekend for our Roadside Assistance Team as flooded roadways disguised potholes as puddles causing tire and vehicle damage,” said Jenifer Moore, AAA spokeswoman. “Potholes combined with debris left in the roadways as water recedes over the next few days will cause additional headaches, and AAA is urging motorists to be prepared.”
Every year, AAA responds to more than four million calls for flat tire assistance, many the result of damage caused by potholes. On average, American drivers report paying $300 to repair pothole-related vehicle damage but depending on the extent of the damage, the make of the vehicle and the make of the tires, repairs could easily exceed $1000.
According to a study by AAA on pothole damage, it costs US drivers about $15 billion in vehicle repairs over a five-year period, or approximately $3 billion a year.
“Potholes don’t just leave you shaken – they’re a serious safety hazard and often lead to costly repair bills,” continued Moore. “You can easily lose control of your vehicle if you hit a pothole, possibly leading to a crash, and it’s just a dangerous to swerve to avoid it. Slow down and stay alert, especially as road crews continue to work to patch potholes throughout the region.”
Debris in the roads also presents driving challenges. One of the most common types of vehicle debris are parts becoming detached from a vehicle (tires, wheels, etc.) and falling onto the roadway. A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, revealed that more than 200,000 crashes over a four year period – some of them deadly – were caused by flying furniture, car parts and other road debris. In 2016, there were more than 1,200 crashes in Ohio caused by load shifting, falling or spilling of objects onto roadways.
To minimize vehicle damage from potholes and debris, AAA offers the following tips:
- Inspect Tires – Make sure tires are properly inflated and have a healthy tread.
- Look ahead – Make a point of scanning the road ahead for potholes. An alert driver is more likely to have time to avoid a pothole so limit distractions.
- Slow Down – If a pothole cannot be avoided, reduce speed safely without abrupt braking.
- Leave Room –Always try to maintain open space on at least one side of your vehicle in case you need to steer around an object.
- Beware of Puddles – puddles often disguise deep potholes.
- Recognize Noises/Vibrations – A hard pothole impact can dislodge wheel weights, damage the tire or wheel and even break suspension components. Any unusual noises after a pothole hit should be inspected immediately.
- Where’s the Spare – New car owners beware, a quick fix for a blown out tire may be no more, as many newer cars do not have spare tires.
- Big Hole, Big Hit – Hitting a large pothole usually results in, not only replacing a tire, but also the need for wheel alignment and possible steering linkage damage, causing a bit hit to motorists’ wallets.
AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Ohio. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. AAA is a non-stock, non-profit corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app (AAA.com/mobile) for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.