Potholes and Vehicle Damage

Potholes: A Recipe for Disaster

What do you get when you mix water, traffic and a cracked section of asphalt? A pothole. What do you get when you mix a pothole and a car? Trouble.

Pothole encounters can wreak havoc on car tires, wheels and suspensions. Most pothole-related repairs cost less than $250, but in some cases the bill can exceed $1,000; the average repair cost is $306. Even worse, hitting a pothole – or taking the wrong measures to avoid one – could cause a crash and personal injuries.

To help protect yourself, your car and your wallet from pothole damage, keep tires properly inflated, eliminate driving distractions, look ahead for road hazards, be wary of puddles that may hide potholes and keep a safe distance from other vehicles. Check your surroundings for collision threats before you stomp on the brakes or swerve suddenly to dodge a pothole. If you can’t avoid one, slow down, but release the brakes and straighten the steering wheel just before impact to help minimize any damage.

Solving the Pothole Problem

Potholes can wreak havoc on your car’s tires, wheels, shocks and struts, tie rods, ball joints, control arms … and the list goes on. They can put a big hole in your wallet, as well. Pothole-related auto repair costs average $306, but some unfortunate drivers wind up paying more than $1,000 to fix the damage.

Hitting a pothole – or taking the wrong measures to avoid one – can also lead to a crash resulting in injuries or worse. A blown tire or broken suspension part can cause you to lose control of your vehicle, as can a split-second decision to stomp on the brakes or suddenly swerve out of your lane to avoid a pothole.

The good news? Following a few simple recommendations can help protect you, your car and your wallet from pothole damage. Make a habit of checking your tires for proper inflation. When behind the wheel, eliminate distractions and look ahead for roadway hazards. Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, and be wary of puddles that may conceal potholes. Check your surroundings for collision threats before attempting to dodge a pothole. If you cannot avoid one, slow down, but release the brakes and straighten the steering wheel just before impact to help minimize any damage.

Car manufacturers, Internet companies, technology suppliers and city/state governments are all exploring innovative solutions to the pothole problem, including pothole reporting systems that make it easier than ever for drivers to join in the effort to wipe out these aggravating depressions.