Billings did not suffer as brutal of a winter as other parts of the country did, but that does not mean the city is immune from the ever-dreaded potholes.

With the streets free of ice and snow, crumbling roadways and ugly potholes have emerged, which can rack up hundreds, even thousands of dollars in car repairs.

Pothole damage has cost U.S. drivers $15 billion in vehicle repairs over the
last five years, approximately $3 billion annually, according to a new
study from AAA.

“In the last five years, 16 million drivers across the country have suffered pothole damage to their vehicles,” Anna O’Donnell, AAA MountainWest spokesperson, said in a prepared statement. “The problems range from tire punctures and bent wheels, to more expensive suspension damage.”

On average, American drivers report paying $300 to repair pothole-related vehicle damage, O’Donnell said in the statement. Adding to the financial frustration, those whose vehicles incurred this type of damage had it happen frequently, with an average of three times in the last five years.”

To minimize vehicle damage, AAA offers these tips to Montanans:

  • Ensure tires are properly inflated and have adequate tread depth, as they are the only cushion between a pothole and the vehicle.
  • If a pothole strike is inevitable, it is critical that drivers slow down, release the brakes and straighten steering before making contact with the pothole.
  • To avoid potholes in the roadway, drivers should remain alert, scan the road and increase following distances behind the vehicle ahead.
  • Cindy Uken, Townsquaremedia
    1

    Near the Mall

    This pothole is located at South 24th Street West and Mall Drive.

  • Cindy Uken, Townsquaremedia
    2

    Downtown

    This pothole that appears to be covered with gravel has ridges that shake the car when you drive over it. It is located at Second Avenue North and 31st Street North.

  • Cindy Uken, Townsquaremedia
    3

    West Billings

    This pothole, which is surrounded by others, is located South 36th Street West and Crater Lake Avenue. Coincidence it is located on Crater Lake?

  • Cindy Uken, Townsquaremedia
    4

    West Billings Residential Neighborhood

    This pothole is located at South 32nd Street West and Banff Avenue.

  • Cindy Uken, Townsquaremedia
    5

    West Central Billings Neighborhood

    This pothole is located near the intersection of 15th Street West and Yellowstone Avenue.