ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WKBW) - A recent AAA survey found that 30 million U.S. drivers experienced pothole damage to their vehicles during 2016 with bills ranging from $250 to over $1,000.
Here in WNY, a long winter season, that was combined with numerous freeze-thaw cycles, caused widespread damage on local roads.
AAA mechanic Brent Franklin said the majority of problems showing up now involve tires and rims. Not only can the sharp edges of a pothole rip the tire, it can shift interior belts which can then make a vehicle difficult to steer straight.
Suspension and alignment problems can also run up a big bill.
The AAA is recommending the following:
-Make sure tires are properly inflated and have enough tread. Old tires with low air pressure don't have the ability to absorb impacts.
-Beware of puddles as they can disguise a deep pothole.
-If you hit a pothole hard and hear noises or feel vibrations afterwards, have your car checked by a mechanic.
-Slow down. Hitting a pothole at higher speed increases the chances of damage.
If your vehicle has been damaged by a pothole on an Erie County maintained road, you can file a property damage claim with the county's law department.