Warm weather brings out potholes, CAA warns drivers to watch out

This week’s warm temperatures are causing the roads to fill with puddles — and potholes. Seemingly overnight, roads have become pock marked, and for every pothole you see, there could be many more that are hidden.

Warm temperatures create havoc on Winnipeg roads

This week's warm temperatures are causing the roads to fill with puddles — and potholes. 1:07

This week's warm temperatures are causing the roads to fill with puddles — and potholes.

"We love the weather but it's definitely pothole season. It's the freeze and thaw cycle that's really bringing out those potholes and we are bound to see a few more in the coming weeks,"said Erika Miller with CAA Manitoba.
CAA warns drivers to avoid the curb lanes if possible, especially if they are covered in water which could be hiding potholes. (Holly Caruk/CBC)

Seemingly overnight, roads have become pock marked with those pesky potholes. And for every one you see, there could be many more that you won't see coming.

"Potholes can be really hidden by puddles, especially with snowbanks melting on the side of the street," said Miller.

The city said crews are out patching potholes to improve driving conditions, but as temperatures continue to warm up over the next week they will be ramping up pothole patching operations.
Erika Miller with CAA Manitoba says it's important to keep a 3 - 4 second distance when following other cars to allow you time to react to potholes. (Holly Caruk/CBC)

According to a city spokesperson, the number of calls to 311 about potholes is actually down. Since February 26, they have received less than a half a dozen calls about potholes that need repair. In past years, they have had up to 50 calls by this time, depending on weather and road conditions.

Potholes can be reported to 311 by phone or by using the 311 smart phone app. Drivers can also report them on the city's website.

As well as reporting potholes, there are a few ways drivers can protect themselves and prevent damage. Miller said it's important for drivers to take precautions on the road and anticipate having to slow down or change lanes. 
A pothole on St. James St at Silver Ave fills with water, becoming hidden to the next motorist who drives through it. (Holly Caruk/CBC)

"When you're driving make sure that you're keeping three to four seconds of space between yourself and the car in front of you. Just in case somebody like a cyclist or a car decides to swerve around a pothole," she said.

It's also important to have a spare tire and roadside kit in case you do run into trouble, she said. It's also a good idea to have your vehicle inspected and to check your tire pressure regularly.

"Keeping tires properly inflated can help reduce damage if you go through a pothole," Miller said.

"If it's absolutely unavoidable make sure that you slow down but don't hit the brakes while you're going [through] because that can actually impact and compound the damage," said Miller.