Worst is yet to come for pothole season

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Deep potholes meant a long weekend for city crews who spent Saturday and Sunday on the road.

INDOT, meanwhile, has already spent almost $3 million filling potholes so far this fiscal year.

But new estimates from AAA says the damage to cars caused by those potholes will run U.S. drivers $5 billion this year. At All Star Service downtown Chris Cooper says he's seeing "bent rims. You see a bent rim here, it's hit a pothole."

John Wilkinson knows about that.

"I've already had to replace two tires," he said pointing to his late model BMW. "I've already spent about 500 bucks or so."

Cooper also showed us a piece of another car's front suspension.

"This is another victim of the potholes here in the city," he said.

Repairs this year so far, he adds, "There's been cases of $800 to $1,200."

AAA says we can do things to protect ourselves from heavy damage.

First, watch traffic patterns for quick moves ahead of you. That could mean they're avoiding potholes.

"Absolutely. Lots of weaving," said one downtown driver Monday night.

Also, try not to swerve suddenly. You could lose control. Slow Down, AAA says, so you don't hit a pothole so hard. That may reduce the threat of bent rims. If you can't avoid the pothole, try to roll through it. That's better than a fast, sudden brake.

And keep tires properly inflated.

"If you have low pressure, that allows more of the chuckhole to give you damage," Cooper said.

Cities like Boston are experimenting with smartphone apps that send the GPS location of potholes to the street department database.

"It will record the location of your phone and then record the bumps your phone experiences," said an expert on the app.

That means faster reporting and repairs of potholes, which sounds good to drivers like John.

"Craters out there," he said.

But with the big thaw still to come, Cooper expects the worst is yet to come.

Pothole Patrol