HARTFORD -- On Monday, AAA of Greater Hartford said that emergency calls for flat tires are up 25 percent over last year.
The organization has received more than 5,000 calls for flats so far this year, including 150 on Sunday alone.
AAA says potholes can't be blamed for all the flat tires, but can certainly be blamed for an overall increase, thanks to the season's extreme cold, followed by a thaw. Many potholes may also be mistaken for puddles, making them especially troublesome.
"Whenever there's a heavy rain, that fills the potholes," said Amy Parmenter, Spokesperson for AAA. "And then, the unsuspecting driver goes barreling through and has hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in damage."
Town Fair Tire in West Hartford said it can see upwards of 20 flat tires per day this time of year.
"I'm not sure what happens on the weekend, but on Mondays, we seem to get most of the flat repairs," said regional manager Mark Jemison, also noting that February is the biggest month for pothole-related repairs.
Jemison said potholes typically cause flat tires or bent or cracked wheels. His advice to drivers: "Slow down. Take your time. Go around the pothole if you can, and, in the event you do hit a pothole, you might want to come in and check out your wheel or even your alignment."