Indianapolis drivers dodge monster potholes
There is no getting around them. After last week's near-record snow, deep freeze and subsequent thaw, potholes are proliferating.
On main streets, side streets and neighborhood streets, potholes are making mayhem for motorists like Andy Hsu.
"Boom, boom! It was like the earth shaking," he said with excitement in his voice.
Hsu lost two tires on his mini van to a wheel-eating, suspension-killing monster of a pothole that claimed at least a dozen victims over the weekend. DPW workers have since filled it up.
Hsu said it made him feel a little sick "in terms of the city not getting to it on time."
The city has declared pothole repair priority one.
Eleven work crews began the day with a to-do list 500 holes long. DPW expects hundreds and hundreds more potholes to form. They're caused by the combination of snow, extreme cold and now melting temperatures.
"It's a constant battle," explained DPW spokesperson Stephanie Sample. "It's the nature of the beast. Potholes have been around a long time. I don't think they are going away anytime soon."
Since the Romans built roads, potholes have been tearing them up. Freewheeling civilizations have been trying to fix them ever since, without much success.
London is experimenting with infra-red pothole repairing technology.
An American company invented a one-man pothole-filling machine. The manufacturer claims it can do three times the work of a three-man work crew.
Indianapolis relies on the old-school shovel, fill and stomp-it-down method, hoping the weather cooperates and the patches hold until spring.
There are ways to help yourself avoid costly repairs caused by potholes. Here's advice we gathered from several sources.
Be careful of "harmless" puddles. Still waters run deep.
Avoid swerving to avoid a hole. You may cause a more serious accident.
Keep the tires properly inflated. That could help avoid damage to the tire sidewall or the rim.
Slow down, but just before hitting the pothole, ease up on the breaks. That will take some of the weight off the car's fronts suspension and allow it to absorb the shock.
If your car is damaged by a pothole, you can try filing a tort claim against the City of Indianapolis. But the city has to have a record of a pothole complaint at that location or they won't pay out.