It’s a noise that all drivers dread, the loud bang of driving over a pothole. These pesky potholes tend to appear in the spring as temperatures change. On average, there are about 55 million potholes across America. So how will you maneuver around potholes? Here are a few key steps you can take to avoid pothole damage to your car.
CHECK TIRE PRESSURE AND TREAD
Before you hit the road, make sure tires are properly inflated. The best way to check is using a tire pressure gauge, it will let you know if you need to refill your tires. Second, you will want to inspect your tire’s tread.
According to Firestone Tire, you can measure tire tread depth by using a penny. Insert the penny upside down in the grooves of the tire, if you see the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head, your tires are worn out. By checking the condition of your tires, it will help reduce major pothole damage to your car.
FOCUS ON THE ROAD
Paying attention to road conditions can give you more time to maneuver around potholes. Before you steer away from the pothole, check for other cars on the road to avoid causing an accident.
Hitting a pothole at speeds is never a good idea. However, hitting potholes at low speeds can help protect your tires, wheels, and suspension from costly damages.
BEWARE OF WATER PUDDLES
Driving over water puddles can be damaging to your car. You never know if water puddles are concealing a pothole, so it is best to be cautious and drive over the puddle slowly.
LISTEN FOR ODD CAR NOISES
If you notice any odd noises coming from your car after driving over a pothole, it might be wise to bring it to a repair shop. Common pothole damages include fluid leaks, deflated tires, alignment issues, just to name a few.
If you are not able to drive your car after hitting a pothole, arrange for some roadside assistance. Most insurance companies offer 24 hour roadside assistance, it can be costly depending on your coverage plan.
Residents can usually contact the city or county maintenance department by calling a special phone number or filling out a form online. You can also reach out to your state’s transportation department. Reporting potholes may vary state-to-state.
Pothole damage is covered by your auto insurance, assuming you have collision coverage. This plan will typically cover the repair costs from hitting a pothole. For more on collision coverage, contact your car insurance agent.