January 21, 2014

Fluctuating temperatures create road hazards

Jessica Lane, Staff Writer,
The Express-Star


Icy road conditions are not the only impact the freezing weather has had on the roads in Grady County. 

Another hazard often brought on by the cold–especially when temperatures fluctuate between cold and cloudy and mild and sunny–include potholes. 

The main culprit of these potholes seen earlier in many

areas, have been the cycles of freezing and thawing, Jim Camoriano, State Farm Media Relations, said.

Water gets in the cracks and expands. Cars drive by and take off more chunks, which leads to potholes, Camoiano said. 

Drivers should be aware of a few things when traveling to avoid these often damaging hazards. 

The first step is to exercise good judgment. 

"Your familiarity will help you avoid potholes," Camoriano said. 

He advised traveling well lit roads that the driver is familiar with and driving cautiously on dark and/or unfamiliar roads.  

If a pothole cannot be avoided, Camoriano recommends braking before hitting the pothole as there is less damage when tire is rolling rather than skidding over a hole during braking. 

"If you do hit a pothole, carefully inspect your car and tires." 

Other things to watch for are if the steering feels wobbly or veers to one side. 

The damage caused to a vehicle because of a pothole is generally covered under the collision portion of auto insurance, however tires are generally not covered.