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CNET On Cars: Smarter Driver: Tips for avoiding damaging potholes

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CNET On Cars: Smarter Driver: Tips for avoiding damaging potholes

2:07 /

Brian Cooley shows you how technology can help prevent costly and damaging potholes.

You're driving along and bang! All of the sudden your car doesn't feel right. Maybe it's pulling, something's vibrating, or it's making a weird noise. Congratulations, you just hit a pothole. And it's gonna cost you. That's because your car was designed for the kinds of roads you see in car commercials, while we increasingly drive on the kinds of roads you see in Mogadishu. Transportation research group TRIP estimates that 27% of our major urban roads are in poor condition, and just 31% in good shape. And their top 5 metros with lousy roads are all in areas that don't have bad winters, so there goes that excuse. Trip also estimates that in the worst area, L.A, Long Beach, Santa Anna, motorists average over $800 annually in road condition related car maintenance and across the country the average is almost $400. Now bear in mind trip is backed by road builders among other. Who want the government to spend on road work. But all it takes is one trip in most countries in Western Europe to realize how bad the roads are in the US. Today's low profile tiers take a beating on potholes and then in turn don't do much to cushion the rim of that alloy wheel. Okay, some practical strategy. Look ahead at the road. This should go without saying, but I can't tell you how many people drive right through a huge pothole, and are surprised. Don't tailgate, that kills your visibility of potholes directly ahead. Break before a pothole, not in it. Doing that just puts more stress on your tire, wheel and suspension. Drive straight through a pothole. Turning too late to avoid it means you're turning in the middle of it. And that further exposes you tire's sidewall and the face of your wheel. Now Michelin offers a pothole resistant in some markets. But talk to your tire shop. They see everything come in off the road, and they'll know [MUSIC] Which tires have a tougher side wall than others. Most importantly, it pays to double check, if there's a pot hole ahead and avoid it.

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