Every year as spring rolls around and winter is in the rearview, New England drivers are faced with the havoc it wreaked on the roadways — potholes. After months of ice, freezing rain, fluctuating temperatures, and snowstorms, cracks start to develop and eventually turn into potholes under the weight of passing cars. As harmless as they may seem, driving over a single pothole can result in thousands of dollars in damages to your vehicle or leave you stranded on the side of the road. From popped tires to dented rims, dislodged wheels and even body damage to your car, it’s important to be extra mindful this time of year and take every precaution to avoid direct contact.
Here are 5 tips to protect your vehicle this pothole season:
- Inspect your tires
Tires provide the most important level of protection between your vehicle and a pothole. Before you leave, do a quick check of your tires for nails, worn-down tread, and deflation. Staying on top of these three indicators can help you avoid an unexpected flat tire. If you experience low tire pressure, your maintenance guide will tell you what the appropriate PSI (pounds per square inch) is for your vehicle.
- Keep an eye on the road ahead of you
If you spot a pothole in advance, you may have time to safely avoid it. Remain alert and avoid distractions to best be prepared. If you do spot a pothole, check your mirrors and surrounding traffic before you swerve to avoid causing a collision or endangering a pedestrian or cyclist.
- Drive slow
If you can’t avoid contact, slow down as much as possible. Hitting one of these at 20 miles per hour will inflict far less damage than if you hit one at 60 miles per hour, avoiding serious issues with your wheel and suspension systems.
- Avoid puddles.
Where there’s a puddle, there’s likely a pothole underneath it and the water can make it difficult to know how big and deep the pothole is. Try to avoid them entirely if you can safely do so.
- Conduct regular maintenance.
As always, the best way to prevent a problem is to take preventative measures. Performing regular maintenance on your vehicle can help identify potential issues and is your best bet for avoiding a costly claim. Stay up to date on routine procedures and be mindful of anything out of the ordinary, for example, hearing noises, noticing a slight veer to the left or right, or feeling a new vibration as you drive. These can all indicate vulnerabilities that can lead to costly problems if you hit a pothole.
We hope these tips help keep you and your vehicle safe this pothole season and beyond. If you have any related questions, please visit our website to find a local agent near you: https://www.quincymutual.com/find-agent.htm.