You don't need an expert to tell you're they're substantial -- and dangerous -- but Greenwich resident Rebecca Lindland, an executive analyst at Kelley Blue Book, confirms what you (and your car tires) already know: More than half of Fairfield County's roads are in poor repair -- at least 55 percent, said Lindland.
The Fairfield County area, in fact, is ranked one of 25 urban areas with a population over 500,000 with the worst road conditions, according to TRIP, a national transportation research group.
Potholes will inevitably damage vehicles and cost motorists hundreds of dollars. On average motorists pay $797 in additional vehicle maintenance just because of poor road conditions.
Some tips from Chevrolet on navigating pothole season:
- Look Ahead and Slow Down: Pothole season can do damage, but being alert can help you avoid potholes. Look ahead and scan for potential potholes and avoid when you can safely do so. If you cannot avoid them, slow down. Hitting a pothole at a higher speed increases the likelihood of damage to your vehicle.
- Watch Out for Water: Hiding beneath puddles can be even deeper potholes. After rain and snow, it’s best to avoid puddles that pose a risk to more damaging potholes.
- Check Your Tire Pressure: Properly inflating your tires can make a significant difference in avoiding damage caused by potholes. Maintaining the manufacturer's recommended tire pressure is key. If your tire is underinflated a pothole can cause a rupture. Overinflated tires are also more susceptible to damage from a pothole.
- Check Your Car For Damage: In the event that you do hit a pothole, be sure to check your car immediately for any possible damage. Assessing damages earlier prevents further damage to your car.
- Know What to Look For: Potholes can cause more than just tire damage. Damage can also be done to tire rims, exhaust systems, alignment, and more. If you feel as if your car is making noises, pulling in one direction or operating irregularly be sure to take it into a professional to be assessed.
- Help Your Fellow Drivers: Report any potholes to your city, county or state transportation authorities. In some cases, you may be able to receive reimbursement for repair costs.
- Be Prepared: Make sure there’s a car jack and a lug wrench in your vehicle and that the spare tire is inflated to its proper pressure in case you need to change a flat.
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