Potholes may seem like they come out of no where, but they can sure do a lot of damage to your car. These hazards often form due to freezing and thawing cycles from a harsh winter. Water can build up under the road, and then either freeze or wash out the ground underneath. This causes the roads to crack and crumble, causing pesky potholes. When you hit one, it can cause a flat tire, bent wheel, or even pricier damage to your suspension, steering system or exhaust system. Learn how to avoid pothole damage to your vehicle.

How-to Avoid Pothole Damage to Your Vehicle: Safe Driving

Avoid Potholes

The easiest way to avoid pothole damage to your vehicle would be to avoid them all together. Sometimes this is easier said than done. However, be sure to pay attention to the road and watch your speeds as well. If you come up on a pothole too fast, you will not have as much time to react. Pay attention to the cars in front of you. Make note if they are going out of their way to avoid potholes. This will give you a heads up warning so that you can be prepared to react. Be aware of your surroundings, as you do not want to swerve into oncoming traffic, another car in the lane beside you, or another hazard in order to avoid potholes.

Be extra careful when it rains. Unfortunately, water-filled potholes are harder to spot. This is especially true when you have decreased visibility. As part of your routine maintenance, make sure that your tires are properly inflated. If your tires have too much or too little air, they will not be able to handle a pothole as well. If it happens that you can not avoid hitting a pothole, do avoid slamming on the brakes. Your vehicle will handle rolling through the pothole better than hitting it while braking sharply.

Report Potholes

If you see a pothole, you are able to report them in many states. They realize how dangerous potholes can be, so they will do their best to repair them. For example, you can report potholes online in NC or call 1-877-368-4968. You can contact the SC Department of Transportation at 1-855-GO-SCDOT to report a pothole as well.

In addition to reporting potholes to a state, some states will allow you to file a claim for damage caused by a pothole. Check in with the state or city where your car sustained damage for specific instructions on how to file a pothole claim. Don’t forget to make a record of where the pothole was and what damage you sustained. Take plenty of photos of the pothole and your vehicle. It may also help to get a police report so that you have that on hand if you should need it for your claim.