Increased Numbers Of Potholes Are Damaging Vehicles

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Motorists may not need to worry about icy roads with the warmer weather but they most certainly need to watch out for potholes. 

The especially severe winter this season has also resulted in an increased number of potholes on roadways. 

This phenomenon is caused by the "freezing and thawing of water" that seeps into streets and loosens the asphalt, according to Dr. Munir Nazzal, an assistant professor at the Department of Civil Engineering at Ohio University. 

Ohio Department of Transportation spokesman David Rose recommends driving slowly through a pothole, instead of swerving around it. He warns avoiding potholes could cause accidents and could do more harm to vehicles. 

"There are some other basic things motorists can do. Number one, to keep your tires properly inflated," saidRose. "Number two, when you're driving you want good visibility. Make sure you have good wipers on and your wiper fluid is full."

Local mechanics are also seeing an increase in business. Steve Reeves, the owner of Athens Auto Repair on East State St. is seeing an influx of bent tire rims, broken wheel bearings and ball joints. 

Reeves also recommends drivers maintain the air pressure in tires, have the front end of their cars checked and occasionally readjust the alignment. 

"Repairs can range from $100 to $1,000, depends on what the problem is," Reeves said. 

According to Rose, road repairs will begin in April when asphalt plants reopen and can go on until Sept.