Potholes cost billions of dollars in repairs to cars

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - If you have noticed more potholes this year than last, you aren't imagining things. According to AAA, state and local governments are having a hard time keeping up with the growing number of potholes this winter.

"We've had so many episodes of bad winter weather and each time we have a freeze cycle it create more potholes," said John Townsend, the manager of Public and Government Affairs of AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Townsend warns that motorists will spend nearly $5 billion on car repairs from damage caused by potholes.

In Arlington, Columbia Pike is riddled with craters. Local resident Aaron Nutter said it's become "outrageous."

"They're very bad. Sometimes when I'm driving home I don't see some of the potholes late at night and I hit them," said Nutter.

The 23-year-old recently cracked a tire rim on his car while going over a pothole. The repairs will cost hundreds of dollars.

AAA sent NewsChannel8 a list of safety tips to follow while driving on roads with large amounts of potholes:

- Keep an eye on traffic patterns. Cars that slow down or move quickly to other lanes may be a sign of major potholes or road damage ahead.
- Beware of snow, ice or water that may be concealing a deep pothole.
- Report major potholes or road damage to your state or local transportation department-
- Avoid swerving. Swerving can cause a loss of vehicle control.
- Slow down. Carefully avoid sharp impact with potholes.
- Roll through. Rolling through the pothole is better than braking rapidly.
-Inflate tires properly. Over inflated and under inflated tires increase risk of tire and wheel damage.