Snowy, Cold Winter Expected to Breed Pothole Pandemic
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WASHINGTON, DC – February 25, 2014 – As winter’s icy grip refuses to let go of much of the United States, many motorists begin to hope for the inevitable spring warming – they first need to prepare for the annual onslaught of “Pothole Season.”
The Rubber Manufacturers Association, the national trade association for tire manufacturers producing tires in the U.S., is urging motorists to be extra careful to avoid potholes that can ruin tires, rims and wrench a vehicle out of alignment.
“Potholes are an unfortunate consequence of the freezing and thawing cycle occurring in late winter and early spring,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president, public affairs. “Over the next several weeks, motorists need to be watchful for these lurking road hazards that frequently cause tire disablements and other vehicle damage.”
Potholes can puncture a tire and cause immediate disablement. Sometimes, pothole damage may not be apparent at first until a motorist notices noise or vibration that indicates internal damage.
“If you notice a change in your vehicle’s performance after hitting a pothole, have it inspected immediately,” Zielinski said. “Hitting a pothole can cause internal tire damage causing a vibration or unusual road noise. Or, if you notice your car pulling to one side after hitting a pothole, it may indicate an alignment issue. Failure to address faulty alignment could cause uneven and premature tire wear.”
Potholes are caused by the expansion and contraction of ground water after the water has entered the ground under the pavement. When the water freezes, it t expands – taking up more space under the pavement. The pavement will weaken as it expands, bends, and cracks under the weight of cars and trucks passing over the weak spot in the road, Eventually, pieces of the roadway material weakens, which causes the material to be displaced or broken down – creating the pothole.
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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S. All RMA press releases are available at www.rma.org.