Potholes are one of the most stress-inducing circumstances among drivers. They slow you down, make your town look awful, and can cause a lot of damage to your car. Take note to learn how to avoid potholes on the road, report them, and what you can do about pothole car damage.
What Causes Potholes?
Potholes form when water seeps into the pavement and causes cracks and damage. Damaged roads are especially prevalent in areas with a cold climate, because the water freezes and then thaws, causing the pavement to weaken and crack when exposed to the weight of passing cars in traffic. That’s why you notice the roads getting worse in winter.
What Can You Do to Avoid Potholes?
There are some measures you can take and become an expert on how to avoid potholes while driving.:
- Keep a reasonable distance from the car in front of you. This basic driving rule not only keeps you safe, but it also gives you ample room to be on the lookout for potholes on the road.
- Don’t drive too fast. Give yourself more reaction time and keep your speed reasonable.
- Take care of your tires. Keep them properly inflated and try to maintain them at a suitable pressure level. Remember that flat or overly inflated tires are the most prone to pothole damage.
- Always dodge puddles. They can be deep even if they don’t look like it. Remember that water pools in potholes and can hide them, so use caution.
What Are the Signs of Pothole Damage?
The worst part about potholes is they usually come as a surprise. Look out for some common signs of pothole damage.
- Your steering wheel is shaking. You may have damaged a tire or a rim.
- Strange noises. They’re usually never a good sign, but if you hear weird sounds after hitting a pothole, you might need to check the exhaust system.
- You get a flat tire. It may seem obvious, but you don’t always notice it immediately. Driving with a flat tire can cause severe damage to your wheels, so check right away!
- The steering wheel feels off-center. If this happens, check your car’s alignment as soon as possible.
- The car seems to pull to the side. If you’ve hit a deep pothole and you notice your car tilting to the side, you may have alignment trouble.
- Your car doesn’t feel like it used to. If something’s “off” after you hit a particularly nasty pothole, it probably is. It could be anything, and you don’t need to pinpoint the issue exactly to have it checked out by a technician.
How Can You Report Potholes?
Your local authorities are responsible for maintaining and fixing the roads, so they should tend to your report and repair potholes. Take pictures of both the pothole itself and the damage caused to your car to document the instance and file a report at your local office or town hall.
Not sure if your car insurance policy covers pothole damage? At Freeway Insurance, we can help you find out and get the best coverage for your needs and budget. Get a free car insurance quote online, over the phone or at one of our offices near you.