PORTLAND, Ore. — Potholes cost drivers in the U.S. more than $26 billion is repairs last year, according to Triple-A. About one in 10 U.S. drivers sustained vehicle damage significant enough to warrant a repair after hitting a pothole, with an average price tag of almost $600 per repair.
Flattened tires are one thing, but hitting potholes hard enough can damage wheels, suspension and steering components too. That repair is on you, the driver, because the city only pays about 10% of pothole claims. The reason? In short, the claim is that potholes are not due to negligence on the part of the city, but rather, normal wear and weathering of roadways.
“Generally, your insurance company will cover pothole damage, if you have something called collision insurance," said Derek Wing of PEMCO insurance.
Triple-A says keep your tires properly inflated so they'll be better able to withstand the occasional meeting with a road crater. Better yet, Wind advises drivers avoid them altogether.
“Slow down. Of course the insurance guy’s going to say that, but slowing down prevents so many problems from happening in the first place," he said.
Last year alone, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) took reports for at least 2,342 potholes.
You can do your part to help with the pothole pandemic by reporting potholes to the city through the PDX Reporter website. You can create an account, add a location, description and photo of the pothole if you have one. Then the information gets put in a queu for the city to go out and fix. The city also keeps track of those reports on an online interactive map.
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