By: Annie Shalvey; Reporting by: Perry Russom

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The wicked winter weather had done a number on southern New England’s roads. It seems like there are potholes everywhere — and they can cause serious damage to the cars that hit them. Eyewitness News wanted to find out what happens when a driver hits a pothole.

Steve Paiva, shop manager at State Auto Body, said that the damage to you car can be extreme.

“What we’re finding are bent control arms, bent tie rod ends, which makes the wheel go in the opposite direction,” he said.

Potholes can also mess with your suspension.

“If something is bent, it’s not going to make your car go straight,” Paiva added.

But there is something you can do to soften the blow to your car when you hit a pothole — properly inflate your tires.

“Once the temperature goes down, it just reduces the pressure in the tire,” he said.

So how do you know if a pothole has damaged your car? Paiva said, “Your car will pull depending on which side of the car got hit and damaged.”

And make sure to take care of damage as it arises — damage that does not get repaired can cost you even more down the road.

© WPRI – Eyewitness News