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Experts see an uptick in rough road conditions, car repair

"If you have to put a tire on your car you're looking at $300 to $3,000."
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Posted at 5:37 PM, Jan 12, 2022

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Several mechanics see a boost of cars coming into their shop for repair. Experts say it is because of bad road conditions in Western New York.

"We're seeing an uptick within the last week after the holidays," says Rocky Casullo, owner of Casullo's Automotive Services. "Consumers are calling and stopping due to concerns of steering wheels shaking."

All of the calls this mechanic gets have to do with concerns over potholes.

"We recently received tires and wheels that were damaged," he expresses. "It cost $500 for replacement."

According to a national research group that oversees road issues both on national and state levels, more money will come out of drivers' pockets due to these issues.

"Trip estimates the average cost of motorists in Buffalo driving on rough roads due to traffic congestion," Rocky Moretti, the director of policy and research of TRIP. "And the economic cost of traffic crashes in the lack of road safety contributing factor is $1,866 annually."

In spite of that, there might be a solution by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.

"Our role will be to use this report to help make the justification to the investment necessary both positive safety and economic development impacts," says Seth Piccirillo, director of economic development of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.

AAA research shows the maintenance cost is at least ten cents a mile on average.

"So with winter here, we know that when roads begin to thaw in March, pothole issues will arise," Elizabeth Carey, director of public relations and corporate communications, AAA Western and Central New York. "AAA calls will increase for tire issues."

Yet, others say it can be more costly if you don't take your car to a shop right away. There also might be a wait because of an inventory shortage.

"If you have to put a tire in your car, you're looking at $300 to $3,000," Casullo stresses. "You have to remember that some low profile tires on luxury cars are expensive to repair. Potholes are destroying them when they drive through them."

Casullo advises drivers to be mindful of driving into potholes.

"We advise people to just be cautious. Drive through the pothole you don't want to slam in the brakes, stopping in a pothole can cause more damage," he says.