The on-going freezing weather followed by thaws erodes the dirt beneath roadways weakening the asphalt above. Add vehicular traffic, and you now know how potholes form. Potholes account for 1/2 million insurance claims a year including such items as punctured and worn tires, damage to axles and shocks, bent wheel rims, and steering mis-alignment.
So how do you avoid this winter nuisance? Below are five tips:
- Scan the road. Actively look for craters and cracks as you drive safely swerving around them. At night this is particularly difficult so slow down.
- Don’t tailgate. Leave more space in front of you so you can get a better view of the approaching roadway.
- Avoid water. Many potholes fill with water so safely swerve around puddles too.
- Slow down. Simple physics, slower hits cause less damage. Don’t slam on your brakes, however, as this will tilt your car forward and put extra stress on the front suspension.
- Car maintenance. Make sure that your tire pressure is correct. Over-infalted and under-inflated tires can cause more damage.
Heed this advice to avoid that startling and disturbing sound (and damage) that pothole strikes make.