FLINT (WJRT) (2/22/2018) - Pothole season around Mid-Michigan is leaving a trail of flat tires and broken rims along area roadways.
The situation is worse because fewer people are traveling with spare tires in their vehicles, leaving them stranded if they hit a crater.
"Lots of people don't realize there aren't spare tires in their new cars," said Phillip Allinger with All Automotive.
Potholes easily can cause hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of damage to tires, rims and suspension components. Many tires nowadays have a low profile, making them more susceptible to blowing out if they hit a pothole or an object in the road.
"I hit two potholes coming down the inner lane and just popped them both and no one really cares two donuts around," said Ryan Nichol, who blew both passenger side tires on his Buick. "So unfortunately no, we had one and that was about it. We had to get it towed because we didn't want to ruin the rims."
Crews with All Automotive say they've been getting more calls than usual.
"We did 22 tire changes and tows because of tire related issues yesterday," Allinger said.
The basic thing you need for a tire change are a spare tire, a jack and a wrench. But according to All Automotive, sometimes people aren't that prepared.
"Make sure your spare tire is good if you have one. Nine times out of 10 they're no good or they're flat," Allinger said. "If you don't have a spare in your car, make sure you have a tow truck company's number. I hate to sound that way, but that's the way life is."
If you do have to change a tire, police recommend pulling off the road into a parking lot. If you're on the freeway, pull as far over as you can and keep your hazards on.
In addition to the spare tire and jack you should also keep a blanket and a flashlight in case of emergency.