Depending on where you live, potholes can sneak up on you on a moment’s notice and seriously damage your car. They’re virtually certain road hazards and the result of hitting one at high speed is rarely a pleasurable experience. They can knock your front wheel alignment out of whack and quickly ruin two perfectly good tires. Blowouts and bent wheels are also a possibility. Do more severe damage, such as bending or breaking some of your steering components and you could crash your car, causing you to make a call to your auto insurance company to file a claim.
We’ve all encountered them at one time or another. But, in some areas they’re more common. Roads deteriorate with time, whether you’re driving through a large city or small town. The fact is – snow, heavy rains, or natural disasters can greatly impact the conditions of these roads. While they are often repaired in timely fashion, you can still just be driving along and run over one. Potholes are not only potentially harmful to your car, they can be extremely dangerous.
Insurance companies aren’t thrilled with the idea of one of their policyholders running over a pothole either. It usually means they’ll have to pay out for repairing the damage if the policy covers it. And, that can cause your auto insurance premium to go up should you have a few too many claims in a short period of time. So, avoiding potholes sounds like a great plan, except we all know that isn’t always possible.
After all, you could be driving at night and don’t see it until it’s too late and you’ve already hit it. Or, you might be behind another car that blocks your view. They swerve, you don’t…and, before you know it, you’ve run over it. Best case scenario is that both you and your vehicle are all right following the incident. If not, your auto insurance company needs to know immediately. You don’t want to take any unnecessary risks driving a car that may be unsafe to drive. Should you believe it can’t be driven further, have it towed.
While potholes can’t always be avoided, there are a few precautions and helpful tips you can use to minimize the damage:
• Always keep your tires properly inflated – The reason for this is that it will minimize the impact from hitting the pothole, but more importantly, it provides a safety cushion to protect the tire’s rim from damage and a possible blowout.
• Don’t follow the car ahead too closely – Leave yourself a wider gap between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you. By doing so, you give yourself a better opportunity to see the pothole and maneuver accordingly to avoid it.
• Don’t swerve wildly – Keep your vehicle under control. Of course, you want to avoid the pothole, if possible, but swerving wildly could cause you to lose control and have a collision.
• Slow down before you hit the pothole – If you see you can’t avoid the pothole, try to slow down as much as you can. Don’t brake as this can potentially cause more damage to your vehicle from the pothole than proceeding slowly over it.
• Hold onto the steering wheel firmly with both hands – Use both hands on the steering wheel when driving over a nasty pothole. This way you can keep your vehicle from suddenly pulling in a surprise direction or into another lane, causing an accident.
Potholes may not always be avoidable, but you can avoid paying too much for your premiums by making sure you’re getting the best rate on your auto insurance. Why not get a free auto insurance quote today?
Have you ever hit a pothole so big it damaged your car? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.