Pothole season can mean not just damaged cars, but also injured cyclists, experts warn

As temperatures soar into the double digits this weekend, experts are warning motorists and cyclists to beware of a not-so-hidden danger: the annual onset of pothole season in Toronto.

It is too early to tell if this season will be worse than past springs. But mechanic Mark Sachs-Anderson says he already sees a lot of damage.

“I think we’ve got a couple more weeks and then I’m going to see a lot more,” Sachs-Anderson told CBC News. He says a pothole can wreak havoc on not just tires and wheels and other parts of your vehicle.

We will see where the tire bent the rim. It can eliminate shock quite easily, but the first is that it will eliminate alignment.”

Mark Mills, Toronto’s superintendent of road operations, says the city will patch about 175,000 potholes by the end of this year. (Radio Canada)

City crews have already repaired 15,000 potholes so far this year, according to road manager Mark Mills. He says that by the end of the year, his crews will have repaired 175,000 potholes with a budget of $4.4 million.

The weather this weekend is perfect for creating potholes, according to MIlls.

“This type of situation happens every year in every major city in our country. We see a lot of freeze-thaw events this year and it’s the perfect recipe for creating a pothole.”

Motorists should slow down and be extra vigilant during pothole season, says Teresa Di Felice, vice president of CAA’s South Central region. (Canadian Automobile Association, South Central Ontario)

He says the city plans several pothole bombings each spring. But he also points out that his teams regularly track and fix potholes.

“We send crews to our main thoroughfares and freeways, patrolling those roads and fixing potholes as they see them,” Mills said.

“We also have teams that respond to all inquiries that come to us through our 311 line.”

The City of Toronto says it has fixed 15,000 potholes this year so far. (Submitted by Bike Advocate)

Potholes also pose a danger to cyclists, according to David Shellnutt, who calls himself The Biking Lawyer.

“We have people calling and saying they hit these things and damage their bikes or injure themselves, sometimes quite badly,” said Shellnutt, who represents cyclists who have been injured in collisions and other fender benders. road. .

“We can’t just think of these potholes as how they would affect a huge tire on a car,” he said. “We have to think about how they would affect someone on a bike who is also not surrounded by two tons of steel.”

Drivers can also help lessen the impact of potholes, according to Teresa Di Felice, vice-president of the south-central Ontario chapter of the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).

Lawyer David Shellnutt says cyclists should stay alert and report any potholes they see to 311. (Kirthana Sasitharan/CBC)

She says a CAA survey showed that 65% of motorists slow down when they notice problems with the road surface. And 64% will try to swerve to avoid potholes.

But “swerving isn’t always a possibility. So think about speed and slow your vehicle down to lessen the impact,” she said. “Keep your car in good working order. If you have under-inflated tyres, if you haven’t had your regular brake repairs done, it could have a bigger impact.”

Sachs-Anderson says there’s not much you can do to prep your vehicle ahead of time for pothole season, other than make sure it’s been spot-checked. a spring check and that it is in as good mechanical condition as possible.

For cyclists, potholes can mean serious injury, not just bent rims, according to Shellnutt. (Submitted by Bike Advocate)

“Just make sure your tire pressure is inflated (to) where it should be. Look inside the door. This will give you the correct inflation value for that particular vehicle.”

In the meantime, Mills has this advice for motorists:

“As we do our blitz, when we do our daily pothole repairs, please be mindful of our staff, give us the time and space to do our job; we’re here to help,” did he declare.

“We will restore these roads to good condition. And please be patient.

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