PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pothole season arrived early this year, according to AAA. In Philadelphia County, dispatch is averaging 2,000 calls a day, and they’re urging drivers to slow down. The city is working hard to fill potholes, but in the meantime, drivers are feeling the brunt of the hit.
“It was a little frightening, especially being on the bridge to the airport,” Nathan Sewell said, “Because you got traffic moving and you got to make decisive moves to get over and get off safe.”READ MORE: Stimulus Check Latest: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming?
Even the most experienced driver finds the shudder of a pothole strike unnerving, but the unluckiest find the damage may hit hardest in their wallets.
“I’m praying it’s just the tire because if it’s the rim, it’s a whole ‘nother story,” Sewell said. “If it’s the suspension, it’s a whole ‘nother story.”
AAA Roadside Assistance calls are up 25% since last February. Flat tires, some from potholes, are in the top three reasons why members call.
“They could be anywhere from a just few inches deep to a foot deep depending on the traffic that’s driven over it time and time again,” Jana Tidwell with AAA said.
Truck after truck rolls into the parking lot, while some cars wait to be seen.READ MORE: Derek Chauvin Trial: Renewed Calls For Justice Ring Throughout Philadelphia Streets Ahead Of Closing Arguments
“He actually hit a pothole and literally destroyed his front end,” AAA Car Care Manager Barry Cooperman said.
Insurance will be checking on the late model Audi, while the owner of a Subaru Outback decided she won’t pay to fix it.
“It’s just extensive work, I believe it’s in the range of $1,200 to $1,500 that with the year, make and model and life expectancy of the car, it’s not worth the repair,” Cooperman said.
While drivers work around repair costs, the city is averaging 6,000 potholes per month. The wicked weather makes it worse.
“We’ve been up to 40s but we go back to freezing temperatures in the 20s, so that accelerates the deterioration of our roads,” Richard Montanez, deputy commissioner of the Streets Department, said.MORE NEWS: Multi-Vehicle Crash In Upper Macungie Township Sends 10 People To Hospital
In Philly, as long as you’re driving on a city-owned street, officials say you can file a claim against the city through the Office of Risk Management by calling 311, but it’s unclear on how long that might take, or how much you might get.