DENVER (CBS4)– Crews with Denver Public Works fill about 100,000 potholes every year. Once again it is pothole season and drivers are urged to report the problems they see.

The City of Denver urges residents to call 311 to report potholes. Crews try to have it fixed within 48 hours and usually do 90 percent of the time.

Drivers can also take caution to protect their vehicles when navigating potholes.

Experts recommend that drivers do not brake when encountering those landmines in the asphalt. Heavy braking compresses the front suspension of the car which forces the tire and wheel down into the pothole.

Instead, mechanics urge drivers to glide over the pothole.

Also, don’t swerve to avoid the hole. Swerving can cause the front wheel and tire to hit the edge of the pothole at an angle causing more damage than if it was struck head on.

At Mile High Body Shop, mechanics are fixing 10 to 15 cars a month because of pothole damage.

“It can be anywhere from tire damage to wheel damage to suspension damage, engine cradle damage, undercarriage,” said Mile High Body Shop mechanic Terrah McNellis.

Insurance companies will confirm those repairs don’t come cheap.

“Thousands of dollars in damage. It could be very expensive,” said State Farm Insurance Agent Rex Horne.

Horne said pothole damage is covered under most collision coverage plans. But he said it is important to find out how significant the damage is. Also, know your deductible because filing a claim may not be worth it.

Horne also recommends keeping track of your claims because multiple claims can impact your premiums.

“If it’s a tire that’s not covered because that would typically be covered by road hazard by your tire warranty,” said Horne.

Drivers are also urged to check for damage since it isn’t always obvious.

“If you’re driving and hit a pothole and you can feel it you might want to get that checked,” said Horne.

It could be a simple realignment repair but also could affect your shocks and struts. If they are damaged or broken, driving can be dangerous.

Mechanics also recommend keeping tire pressure consistently at the manufacturer’s recommended level will help protect wheels and tires from pothole damage.

To report potholes in Denver, dial 311. You can report potholes outside of Denver by contacting the appropriate county. In area code 303, call: Unincorporated Jefferson County 271-5200; Adams County 853-7137; Broomfield County 438-6360; Golden County 215-8882 x2901; Boulder County ; Douglas County 660-7480; Aurora County 326-8200, and in area code 970, call: Arapahoe County 874-7623 and Fort Collins 221-6614.


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