AAA North Jersey warns of potholes ahead

Dear Editor:

Motorists in North Jersey have coped with cold temperatures, snow, ice and freezing rain this winter and must now cope with the next driving hazard – potholes.

William Patterson, vice president at AAA North Jersey noted that potholes are created by a weakness in the pavement layers. “When moisture seeps into and under the pavement and freezes, it expands, creates cracks and the pavement disintegrates,” said Patterson. Continued traffic eventually dislodges particles of pavement to form a hole in the road. The freeze and thaw cycles of spring worsen the condition and a pothole develops.

In addition to causing jarring bumps to motorists, potholes are a threat to safety. “Motorists often risk a collision by swerving to avoid a pothole or take the impact and face major automobile repair bills that can reach hundreds of dollars,” said the AAA vice president.

The best advice for driving on damaged roads is to slow down and be especially alert for potholes. If a pothole cannot be safely avoided, try to roll slowly through it rather than braking rapidly. “A locked wheel can result in more vehicle damage than a rolling one,” emphasized Patterson. A ruined tire is the most minor damage that potholes can cause. Hitting a pothole can wreck a wheel or cause costly damage to a vehicle’s suspension, struts, shocks and alignment.

Motorists should also be sure their tires are inflated properly. Too much air pressure increases the risk of tire damage from pothole impact while low pressure increases the risk of wheel damage.

William J. Visser
AAA North Jersey


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