AAA: Increase transportation funding to lift burden of pothole r - WFSB 3 Connecticut

AAA: Increase transportation funding to lift burden of pothole repairs

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(WFSB file photo) (WFSB file photo)

Potholes cost American drivers $15 billion in vehicle repairs over the last five years, according to a study by AAA.

That's about $3 billion a year.

"Drivers here in Connecticut certainly know that sinking feeling, having paid a steep price for widespread pothole problems just last year," said Amy Parmenter, AAA spokesperson. "In the last five years, 16 million drivers across the country have had their vehicles damaged by potholes."

AAA urged state and local governments to fully fund and prioritize road repairs to reduce vehicle damage and repair costs.

The auto club found in its survey that middle and lower income people were the most worried about potholes.

It said the average driver reports paying $300 to repair pothole-related damage. Those vehicles also took on that damage more than once with an average of three times in the last five years.

"This validates what we know to be true: our roads, and our lack of investment in transportation for a generation, is costing residents money," said Gov. Dannel Malloy.  "Between the conditions of our roads to the lost economic activity as a result of congestion, the price of inaction on transportation is greater than the price of taking on big projects." 

AAA recommended ensuring that vehicle tires are properly inflated and have adequate tread depth. They are the only cushion between a pothole and the vehicle.

It also urged drives to slow down, release the brakes and straighten the steering wheel before hitting the hole.

Service employees said each year, they responded to more than 4 million calls for flat tire help.

AAA said that while Congress increased transportation funding in 2015, as much as $170 billion more was needed to improve the country's roads and bridges.

For more information about AAA, head to its website here.

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