If you live in an area with lots of potholes, knowing what you can do to help safely maneuver around them is key. First, you should maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the car in front of you so it’s easier to spot potholes ahead, says Accuweather. You should also use caution when approaching puddles of water as they could really be potholes in hiding. If you can’t avoid hitting a pothole, says Accuweather, slow down before you hit it and firmly grip the wheel to help avoid losing control of your vehicle.
To potentially minimize the impact that hitting a pothole can have on your car, ensure your tires are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended level, suggests Consumer Reports — an under-inflated tire may not have enough resistance to withstand the impact of a pothole. Lastly, you should ensure your car’s suspension is in good condition, recommends Accuweather. It may be a good idea to have a mechanic help you confirm this.
What Kind of Car Damage Can Potholes Cause?
In addition to causing damage to the tire itself, potholes may cause alignment or suspension problems to your vehicle. Below are some signs that your car may have sustained damage after hitting a pothole, according to Accuweather and Consumer Reports:
One or more deflated tires
Severe cracks or bulges in the tires
Dents in the wheel rims
The vehicle shaking and pulling to the left or right, which could indicate an alignment problem
Fluid leaks, which may mean your undercarriage is damaged
Odd noises coming from the exhaust system
If you notice any of these issues, you may want to take your car to a repair facility to have a professional check it for damage as soon as possible. If the pothole did cause damage to your vehicle, it may be a good idea to call your insurance agent to see if your auto policy might help cover some of the repair costs.
Some potholes are unavoidable, but learning how to safely handle them on the road may help you save money and frustration down the road. The next time you see a pothole ahead, remember to slow down and call your mechanic right away if you notice any subsequent issues with your vehicle. It might also be a good idea to notify your city or county transportation authorities so they are aware of potholes that need to be filled.