AVOID POTHOLES TO PROTECT YOUR CAR
Posted on: Jan. 28, 2017 in Safety, Driving, Auto Maintenance

Potholes – they are another sign of winter’s stronghold that usually continue to haunt drivers well into the spring. Roads with cracks are most likely to form potholes. As water on roadways expands and contracts under the pavement, the road is weakened and bigger cracks form. This process continues and the condition of the roadway worsens.

If you’ve ever driven over a pothole, you know that familiar feeling of the car jolting. Hitting a pothole can seriously damage your car or cause accidents and injuries. Here are some tips for dealing with these hazards.

  • Slow down. It seems like that’s the biggest tip to drivers, and for good reason. If you’re speeding, you’re less likely to see a pothole. You’re also less likely to have enough time to react.
  • Don’t tailgate. When you drive too close to the person in front of you, you again have less visibility and less time to react. Also, if they hit the pothole, you have a greater chance of getting into an accident with them.
  • Avoid the pothole… safely. This may seem obvious, but the best way to avoid pothole damage is to not hit the pothole. However, take care not to swerve too wildly or quickly or you could end up causing an accident.
  • Don’t underestimate the depth. Potholes filled with water can appear shallow. Don’t assume all potholes are small or that big ones won’t be marked or blocked. Do your best to avoid all of them.
  • Report. If you see a dangerous pothole, report it to the road authority for the area.
  • Protect your car. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and be sure to check them throughout the season. Tires are designed to absorb some of the shock if you hit a pothole, but could lose air as the temperatures change.
  • Visit the mechanic. If your car starts to shake, vibrate, or shimmy, it’s time to call in a pro. These could be signs of a suspension problem.

At some point, you’re bound to hit a pothole. The damage typically isn’t covered by car insurance or the town where the pothole is located, so you’re on the hook. Stay alert to prevent damage and accidents.

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