WINSTON-SALEM, NC -- The snow from last week’s storm is long gone but now there’s another problem giving drivers fits on the roadways: potholes.
Triad road crews say they get more reports about potholes in the winter, especially after a big snow storm.
Potholes are more than just a nuisance, they can cause some serious problems on the roads.
Not only can they tear up your tires, rims, and suspension, but potholes can also cause traffic accidents if you're not careful!
Drivers in Winston-Salem say they’re starting to notice more potholes popping up in their commutes recently.
“I see potholes every day when I’m driving,” said Heather Mix. “Sometimes I have to switch lanes to avoid them. Sometimes I can’t do that to avoid them and that’s when I worry about my car.”
“They make you feel terrible. You see a pothole, you have to swerve to avoid it and you have to wonder if anyone else is going to be in your path,” said John Poindexter. “It can cause hundreds of dollars worth of damage to a car.”
Road crews say weather is to blame for the increase in potholes.
Water from the snow slips through the cracks in the street causing the roadway to expand.
Then, when the weather gets warmer, the roadway contracts.
Randy Britton with the City of Winston-Salem Streets Division says those changes in temperature and the weight of the cars on the road that cause potholes to form.
“The actual snow that has melted, the water seeps through the asphalt and gets underneath it,” said Britton. “It starts to loosen the gravel that is a part of the tar and the make up of the asphalt. Then it loosens it. Then of course, the weight of the traffic and the tires trying to grip the asphalt begins to break it up.”
The potholes are frustrating and aggravating for drivers but they can also be very dangerous!
Britton says the City of Winston-Salem encourages drivers to report potholes right away so crews can get them fixed within 48 hours to avoid those major problems.
“The expectations are of course, they want you to take care of this request as quickly as possible and as professionally as possible,” said Britton. “That’s why it’s so critical that we touch base with the citizen or the person making the request to go ahead and help them understand what all is involved in completing their request that they’ve made to us.”
There are several ways to report potholes, depending on the city in which you live.
For a complete list of the phone numbers or websites to report potholes in the Triad, click here.
The most important reason you should report a pothole is because if you hit one and your car is damaged, you have to foot that bill.
In most cases, the city is not held liable for damage done to your car by a pothole.