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Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

Winter weather causes increase in potholes on Permian Basin roads

Here's how to avoid potholes and what to do if you hit one.

ODESSA, Texas — Thanks to the winter storm that hit Texas recently, drivers are starting to see a lot more potholes popping up.

Similar to our homes, the freezing temperatures did a number on our roads.

"Anytime we have a winter storm like this, water gets into the pavement and freezes and expands and it causes the asphalt to break up, and then as traffic moves over it beats potholes into the road. No way to prevent it really, it just happens," Gene Powell, Public Information Officer for the Odessa District of TxDOT said.

Powell says TxDOT is working hard to get these potholes filled.

Until that happens, you can help protect your car from potholes by getting your tires inspected. Tires should be properly inflated and have an adequate amount of tread.

You should also be scanning the road for potholes to make sure you have enough time to avoid them, and always make sure to watch for surrounding traffic before swerving out of the way.

If you cannot avoid a pothole, make sure to reduce your speed safely, and check the rearview mirror before braking abruptly. Hitting potholes at a high speed increases the damage to your tires, wheels and suspension components.

Drivers should also be aware of puddles that can disguise deeper potholes

If you have hit a pothole, you should check your cars alignment as a hard impact can knock a vehicle's wheels out of alignment. You should also watch out for any new or unusual noises or vibrations after a hit, and have these checked out by a mechanic or technician if they appear.