ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Monday night’s snow storm is expected to create more than just bad driving conditions. Roads can be damaged from salt, ice and snowplows to make existing potholes worse or create new ones.
If a car hits a pothole, it can flatten a tire or cause damage to the vehicle’s suspension.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s a new road or an existing road. The elements take [their] toll. So, whether you’re on East State or Perryville or on Harrison, that have some newer spots on them, you still have to be mindful and watch our for any new potholes that might pop up,” said Rockford resident John Penney.
Penney says he travels a lot for work, and makes sure to avoid certain streets to prevent running over a pothole.
“Especially [the] Alpine and Charles street area,” he said. “I travel a lot up and down those roads and you just gotta be cautious, or else it’s a front end that your losing.”
Rick Almond at Parson’s Collision Center, 2050 Harlem Road, says the damage created by potholes can vary.
“At the minimum, I would say probably a flat tire, bent rim. Maximum, we’re talking about suspension damage. Sometimes the suspension damage can hit the bottom of the car,” he said.
Almond says drivers can file a claim through the City for reimbursement for the damage.
“As far as making a claim with the City, I’ve just been told that you document where the pothole is that you hit, report that to the city officials, and let them know where that is, so they can get it fixed and help you with your claim,” Almond said. “But, there is a time restriction: you have to turn it in to make it valid.”
According to the City of Rockford website, a claim must be very specific: “At a bare minimum, PMA will require the street on which the damage occurred, driving direction, lane you were driving in and nearest cross streets. However, in most cases, this is not enough information to pay your claim. Whenever possible please include the nearest address, hundred block of the street or closest intersection to where your damage occurred… Photographs may also be provided. A photograph of the general area with a mark indicating the pothole is the most effective way to identify the pothole. Without this very specific information in regard to potholes and other roadway defects, your claim will be denied.”
Almond also recommends filing a claim with an auto insurance company.
“We recommend [that], if it’s something that makes your car not drivable, I would probably turn it into claims with your insurance company to get your car back on the road,” Almond continued.
Penney says his family regularly has to get their tires changed or repaired due to the potholes, and says caution is always needed while driving on Rockford streets.
“I usually stay on my kids and wife to really watch where they are driving and where they’re going, so they can see those potholes and try to swerve around them and stay in the lanes less traveled, if possible,” Penney said.
To report a pothole in Rockford, call the Pothole Hotline at 779-348-7260 or via the City’s website.