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Voice of the consumer: The trusty tire gauge

By: BETTY SEXTON KKTV 11 NEWS
May 25, 2015 Updated: May 25, 2015 at 4:06 am
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photo - Betty Sexton
Betty Sexton 

As you know, potholes seem to be everywhere. They're lurking, waiting for us to smack them. They don't discriminate on size or location.

It's almost as if they're daring city crews to not fill them soon enough.

Let's help each other in this battle and report them so they don't grow into monsters. Don't be afraid to call the Colorado Springs pothole hotline, 385-ROAD (7623).

I feel for Christy, who became a pothole victim last week at North Academy Boulevard and Bijou Street. She said she was driving slowly to work in the elements when she encountered a "crater." The pothole blew out a front and back tires on her brand-new car at a cost of $600. She said she called the city and was told because the city didn't know there was a problem at that particular spot, she was responsible.

Street crews later filled that hole, but it was too late for Christy. The city of Colorado Springs will reimburse drivers for damages caused by potholes if they've been given a reasonable amount of time to fix them. It seems a pothole was reported at Academy and Bijou two months ago. City crews reportedly fixed one in the same spot about two weeks later.

The issue for drivers, with so many potholes popping up daily, it's almost impossible to prove how long they've been there.

Consumer Reports said those who responded to a survey by Trusted Choice and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America found that from 2009 until 2014, 50 percent of car owners experienced damage to their cars from potholes. Of those respondents, only 31 percent filed insurance claims. Most paid out of pocket for repairs.

Consumer Reports says these days many cars come with performance tires that have short sidewalls. While they give you responsive cornering, they have less area to flex and conform to a pothole edge compared with conventional tires, which are taller.

Some potholes you can't see, others you can't miss. The best advice, drive slowly and keep adequate distance between your car and the car in front of you. Hopefully, that will give you time to react.

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Contact Betty Sexton: bsexton@kktv11news.com or 457-8214

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