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Experts Offer Pothole Prescriptions

We've gone more than a couple of weeks without a major snowstorm, but the legacy of all this dramatic weather lives on in the form of potholes. Potholes are just one more reason, it seems, to loath winter.

The good news is that potholes are a sign of spring. The bad? The thaw-freeze-thaw cycle that creates pavement breakup in roadways can cause vehicle damage and contribute to tire wear -- and gives drivers one more thing to stress about behind the wheel.

To help motorists navigate Connecticut roadways this season, AAA offers some prescriptions for potholes.

Look ahead. Make a point to check the road for potholes and look well ahead of the front of your car so you have time to react if needed.

Safely slow down if a pothole can't be avoided. In order to reduce the chance of damaging your tires, wheels and suspension, release the brake just before you hit the pothole.

Puddles can disguise deep potholes, and those deep ones can cause serious damage to cars.

But, you hit one. Now what?

Hitting a pothole can knock wheels out of alignment and affect the steering. If a vehicle pulls to the left or right, have the alignment checked by a qualified technician. And make sure a thorough inspection of your steering and suspension is performed.

Recognize noises/vibrations. A hard impact can dislodge wheels, damage tires and bend or break suspension. New or unusual noises or vibrations occurring after a pothole encounter should be inspected immediately by a professional.

The tire is the most important connection between your vehicle and the road. Inspect your tires for damage, cuts and bruises, and make sure you have sufficient tread and proper inflation. To check the tread depth, insert a quarter into the tread groove with Washington's head upside down. The tread should cover part of Washington's head. If it doesn't, then it's time to start shopping for new tires.

Let me know where the worst potholes in your town are located.

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