With the very cold weather we’ve experienced this season mixed with a few warm days have really taken a toll on our roadway.
Some of the potholes on the road are like craters on the moon, while other are getting worse and larger every day traffic drives right through them.
As the potholes become larger with the damage you're your vehicle becomes a safety risk and can take a chunk out of your wallet. If you are driving through a pothole every day on your daily commute.
Some of the more common damage is a flat tire or damage to your tires, bent rims, suspension damage, steering damage and even damage to the body of the car.
Potholes can even knock your car out of alignment so it will effect the way the tires wear and can lead to replacing tires before earlier than expected.
What if you drive directly into a large pothole?
Be on pothole patrol, looking ahead of you and noting where they are will help you avoid the pits in the roads. On heavier traveled roads, the constant traffic kicks up pavement and existing potholes can grow larger and cause even more serious damage in just a few hours.
And YES, they can pop up over night so paying attention on a daily basis is critical to your safety.
What can you do beyond attempting to avoid these nasty craters?
- The first line of pothole defense is proper tire inflation. Low tire pressure can cause bulges or blisters to the tires sidewalls and even dent the wheel. These problems will be visible and should be checked out as soon as possible as tires are the critical connection between your car and the road in all sorts of driving conditions.
- Before you make an evasive maneuver, be aware of traffic around you. Use your mirrors and consider whether to straddle the hole or go around it. Don’t have an accident just to avoid a pothole.
- If a pothole can't be avoided, keep your steering wheel straight. Slow down and drive carefully through the pothole. Allow the tire to roll through the pothole. Traveling at full speed or slamming on the brakes can cause major damage leaving you possibly on the side of the road.
Worst case scenario, if you have recently hit a pothole and heard the scary THUMP; it’s time to see an ASE certified technician to inspect your suspension, under carriage and tires for damage.
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Lauren Fix, The Car Coach® is a nationally recognized automotive expert, media guest, journalist, author, keynote speaker and television host. Post your comments on Twitter: @LaurenFix or on her Facebook Page.
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