It’s a spring thing. April showers bring May flowers. And potholes. Damage to your vehicle from banging into a road crater can cost you repair bills from an average $300 to more than $1,000.
These tips from Michelin will help you ride safe and save yourself from the frustration and cost of pothole repairs, or worse – an accident caused by a blowout from a pothole:
Maintain Proper Tire Pressure
Ensure your tires are properly inflated according to your vehicle manufacturer (found on the inside of driver’s doorjamb). Properly inflated tires help protect your vehicle from pothole damage.
- Too much or too little inflation also affect ride comfort and fuel economy.
Practice Safe Following Distance
Give yourself enough time to react to the road ahead. An alert driver with a safe following distance will have more time to avoid potholes or adjust speed to minimize impact.
Focus On The Road and Beware of Puddles
Pay close attention to the road ahead and watch out for puddles. What may look like a harmless puddle might actually be a dangerous pothole, and there’s no telling how deep that crater might be
Know the Signs of Trouble
If you do hit a pothole, pay attention to your car for signs of trouble. Hitting a pothole can knock a vehicle’s wheel out of alignment, causing it to pull let or right and also causing uneven wear on the tires over time.
- Check your tires for severe cracks or bulges and consult a tire professional to see if they indicate a problem.
Slow Down and Grip The Wheel
If you can’t avoid a pothole, slow your speed to minimize impact, and grip the steering wheel firmly to avoid losing control.
- Warning: never brake over a pothole, which could cause more damage to your car.
Spot a pothole?
Report it to your local Department of Transportation to ensure it’s fixed in a timely manner.
See also this infographic from Michelin about avoiding pothole damage.
This article was first published in March 2017, and being republished for the 2022 pothole season.