Potholes are practically unavoidable in the course of day to day driving. More than just creating a bumpy ride, though, these road hazards can cause damage ranging from a flat tire to suspension damage. With a few safe driving tips, you can avoid potholes and expensive repairs to your vehicle.
What Causes Potholes?
Potholes are more prevalent during the spring. That’s because they are caused by two things common in winter: water and freezing temperatures.
When water seeps into and under the pavement and then freezes and expands, it weakens the road. As cars and trucks pass over these weak spots, the pavement can crumble and break, eventually forming a pothole. The longer it goes unfixed, the bigger the hole, and the more likely it is to create a significant road hazard.
The Damage Potholes Cause
When you hit a pothole, the resulting jolt can be unpleasant. However, the damage to your car can be extensive, even if you don't notice it right away. Problems from potholes can include:
- Flat tires
- Cracks, holes, or bulges in your tires
- Damage to the tire rims, including bent rims, scratches and dents
- Problems with wheel alignment that cause the car to pull to one side or the other
Hitting a pothole too hard can also cause damage to the undercarriage of your vehicle, leading to fluid leaks and problems with your exhaust system.
How to Prevent Pothole Damage
Avoid driving too close to the car in front of you and use caution when approaching puddles on the road, as they can often hide potholes. If you see the car in front of you has hit a hole, you’ll have time to react.
If you can’t drive around a pothole, avoid speeding up or braking when you hit it. Slow down and grip the wheel so you don’t veer in either direction when the car jerks. Regularly check your tire inflation to make sure it’s correct; flat tires are more likely when your tires are underinflated, as they won’t be able to withstand the impact as well.
If a pothole leads to a flat tire on your car, 21 Ave Tire Repair in Paterson, NJ, can get you back on the road quickly and safely. In addition to fixing tire emergencies and providing tire maintenance, they sell and install new and used car and truck tires for nearly all types of vehicles. To find out more about their services, visit their website or call (973) 225-0923.