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Car driving on the road. A pothole on the road.

Dodging Potholes

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Imagine you are out driving and all of a sudden you hit a pothole that ends up costing you thousands of dollars. It doesn’t sound fun, does it? There are many reasons why potholes form: temperature fluctuations, poor construction, worn out pavement and even water damage. Unfortunately, roads aren’t perfect, but there are ways to safely avoid potholes. 

How to Avoid Them

  • It might seem obvious, but look ahead when driving to avoid upcoming potholes and have enough time to slow down.
  • Keep your distance from the car in front of you. Avoid tailgating even when you are in a rush—you may not have enough time to react by the time you see the pothole.
  • Be extra cautious when it has been raining. It’s hard to tell how deep a puddle is when it’s filled with water.
  • Slow down when you see a pothole. If you are driving fast, you will hit the pothole harder. 

How to Prepare Before You Hit One

  • Most people tend to swerve to try to avoid hitting potholes. But if you don’t have enough time to dodge it, and drive through it at a weird angle, you risk the chance of causing more damage to your car. If it is too late, your best option might be to drive through it to hopefully avoid any alignment issues.
  • It might sound surprising, but don’t brake. You would usually hit a pothole with the front two wheels, which is why you must avoid pushing your suspension system going forward. Instead, take your foot off the accelerator. 

What to Do if You Hit One

Sometimes hitting a pothole is unavoidable. If you keep driving and you get an alert, your car starts pulling to one side or you feel the car vibrating because of a damaged wheel, pull over and call for help. Then make sure you remember where the pothole was and be extra careful if you drive that way again. Most cities and counties have a website to report potholes, so try searching online for how to report the particularly bad ones.

Most road damage happens during the winter, but the great news is that most cities fix their roads in the spring. Until then, stay alert and try to avoid any extra car maintenance charges. 

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