A pothole is a type of failure in an asphalt pavement, caused by water in the underlying soil beneath it. Consistent traffic fatigues and breaks the poorly supported asphalt surface in creating a hole, also creates a pothole. The holes that form in the roadway can do severe damage to your vehicle, from puncturing its tires to knocking its steering out of alignment. While you can’t do much more than contact your city government, you can take steps to protect your car and your wallet from pothole damage.
Damage From Potholes
The list of damage that can be caused by a pothole is pretty long. Some of the damage you can see clearly, such as a dented wheel rim or punctured tire. Other types of damage might not be visible, but you’ll be able to feel it while driving. If a pothole did a number on your car’s steering or alignment, you’ll most likely feel the car pulling to one side or another, even if you’re trying to drive in a straight line. A pothole can also damage the engine and undercarriage of your vehicle. If you see fluid leaking from beneath the car or hear funny noises when you turn it on, a pothole may be to blame.
When it comes to potholes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Pay attention when you drive and take note of the behaviors of the cars around you. If you see a car ahead of you pulling into another lane or driving over to the shoulder, you can safely assume that there’s a pothole up ahead. Slow down and drive around it. Be careful not to swerve too sharply, as you risk losing control of your car.
Protecting Your Car From Potholes
Some potholes are sneaky and can come up on you with little warning. If you can’t avoid one, the next best thing is to drive in a way that reduces the impact on your car. Slow down as soon as you see the pothole, to reduce the amount of force with which you car hits it. Keep a tight grip on the steering wheel, so that your car isn’t thrown to one side or the other when you drive over the hole.
If You Hit a Pothole
Depending on the impact of the hit and what part of your car is damaged, hitting a pothole can do serious damage to your wallet. If your car seems off in any way after you run over a pothole, bring it into your mechanic. Your car’s insurance may cover the damage done.
In some cases, cities and towns will reimburse drivers whose cars have been damaged by potholes. However, it can take months for reimbursement to come through and the city might not give you the full amount or may even deny your claim. It’s still worth it to file a claim, so you don’t go broke trying to navigate your town after a rough winter.
The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.