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Holy Potholes! Spring Driving Dangers

March 12th, 2014  |  Auto Insurance

Once the winter snow melts it is officially springPothole season!

Pothole season is no fun for drivers. It’s just another thing that you need to be aware of while driving. If you have ever driven over a pothole, you will know the potential danger they can be. They can damage your vehicle and they could even force you to lose control if you are not prepared for them. This is why it’s important to understand how to avoid them as well as the signs that your car may have been damaged by potholes if you hit one.

How Potholes form

Potholes develop over the winter when the water freezes and expands under the pavement, creating pressure that pushes upwards. When the spring comes and the soil thaws, the water evaporates which creates and hole under the pavement. Without support, the pavement crumbles under the pressure of vehicles driving over it, creating a hole in the pavement.

Tips to avoid potholes

  1. Be ready for them – anticipate they will be out in full force once the thaw begins
  2. Avoid using roads that are known to have potholes
  3. Know your area and make note of potholes as your drive
  4. Keep your eyes focused on the road at all times – you never know when a pothole can creep up on you
  5. Watch the cars in front of you – if they swerve or make a movement to the left or right, this may be a sign that a pothole is ahead
  6. Drive at the posted speed limit – driving too fast could cause you to overlook potential dangers ahead

Signs your car is damaged by potholes

Potholes are your enemy as a driver. They can not only give you a good jolt if you hit one, they can also do serious damage to your vehicle. Potholes can damage your shocks and suspension, alignment, brakes, undercarriage, muffler, tires and your wheels.

Here are a number of signs that your car has pothole damage:

  • The damage is visible
  • You notice a change in steering
  • Your car sits lower than before
  • Loss of air in your tires
  • The car bounces more than normal when going over a bump
  • You notice a change in braking
  • You notice your car sways and the alignment is off
  • Fluid is leaking from your car
  • You notice dents and scratches on the bottom of your running boards

If something just doesn’t feel right after hitting a pothole, take your car in to be inspected.

Have you ever hit a pothole? Did it cause damage to your vehicle? How much did it cost to get your car fixed?

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