It’s happened to us all at one point or another. You’re just driving along, listening to music, not paying close enough attention, and BAM! You hit a giant pothole in the middle of the road. They sometimes seem to come out of nowhere.
I remember this happening to me when I was 15 and just learning to drive. I hit a giant pothole straight on, and my mom was frantic. At 15, I just thought my mom was overreacting. But, as I’ve gotten older and purchased my own cars, I understand the danger of potholes and the potential damage that they can cause your car.
WHAT ARE POTHOLES?
Potholes are holes that appear in the roadway. They can vary in size. We tend to see them showing up during the spring when the weather has changed from the cold winter months and it’s starting to get warmer.
This is because potholes are caused by the expansion of water in the ground. During winter months the water that has entered under the pavement freezes. When water freezes it expands. This causes the pavement to bend, crack and overall it causes it to weaken.
As cars drive over this weakened pavement it over time causes it to crack and break. Eventually, it can cause large holes. What we then call, potholes.
WHAT DAMAGE CAN THEY DO?
I try to avoid potholes at all cost, and you should too. They can cause major damage to your car, and having any car damage can increase your risk for accidents. Here are just a few examples of the danger of potholes, and the damage they can do.
Tire Damage: Common damage is a flat tire. But beyond this, potholes can cause hidden damage in your vehicle that will lead to your tires wearing quicker than expected. This could end up costing you more money as you’ll likely have to replace your tires sooner than you were expecting.
Alignment: Potholes can knock your car completely out of alignment and this will affect the way your tires wear, which can cause you to have to replace your tires earlier than expected, as mentioned above. It isn’t always easy to tell when your car is out of alignment, but it can be very dangerous. It can impact your steering which could lead to accidents.
Under the car: Potholes can create holes or dents in the under part of your car. This could cause rust or leaks, or more serious damage.
Rims: Potholes can cause major dents in your rims. Bent rims can cause your tires to leak air over time and you are at risk of having a tire blow out while you’re driving or getting a flat.
Lost control while driving: Large potholes can cause you to lose control when driving. We all know what this means. This could lead to an accident or further damage to your car if you were to crash into something.
HOW CAN I AVOID POTHOLES?
Avoiding potholes can be tricky sometimes, especially when a road seems to be covered in them. But, there are a few tips we have to avoid the inevitable potholes you’re bound to see in the road once the snow clears.
Be aware: Always be on the lookout when you’re driving. Look ahead, and keep your eye on the ground in front of you to avoid potholes.
Drive slow and straight: When you do encounter potholes, if you’re unable to completely avoid them, drive extra slowly when you pass over them. Also, try to keep your steering as straight as possible when you go over them.
Check your tires: Make sure that your tires have the proper amount of air in them. If your tire pressure is low it can cause more damage than usual, if you are to hit a pothole.
We can all agree: potholes are a pain. But, they are something we have to deal with nonetheless. Being aware of the damage they can cause and how to avoid them is an important part of driving!
They can be dangerous, so be on the lookout and take care while you drive.