14396505 – potholes road damage
Spring is a notorious time of year for potholes, due to the change in temperature. After a long winter, potholes become an epidemic in many cities around the country, causing drivers to dodge traffic while avoiding them, or risk vehicle damage when they hit them.
The following will help you avoid potholes, along with tips for repairing the damage they can cause to your vehicle.
- Leave enough distance between you and the vehicle in front of you – this allows you to see the oncoming pothole before striking it.
- Be aware of other traffic or pedestrians on the roads before swerving to avoid a pothole.
- Lower your speed on pothole-filled roads. More damage can be incurred to a vehicle striking potholes at higher speeds, including compromised handling of the vehicle.
- Don’t apply the brakes when driving over a pothole. This tilts the vehicle forward and places the amount of stress on the front suspension, which is the first part of the vehicle to strike the pothole.
Don’t Let Pothole Damage Worsen
- After you hit a pothole, pay attention to any vibration, handling issues or unusual noises.
- The most common damage is a bent rim or hubcap, missing wheel weights and a tire out of round, which can be inspected and replaced by a body shop or tire specialist.
- Damage to the front or rear suspension or struts can impact handling and safety – this requires immediate attention from a body shop.
- Check fenders and wheel wells for body damage – particularly on vehicles with low clearance – and get these repaired before rust sets in.
Evaluate Your Claim for Insurance
- A pothole damage claim is a single-car accident, which is filed as an at-fault accident and a collision by insurance carriers, so consider your damage estimate and deductible before you file a claim.
- Investigate if the local department of transportation pays for pothole damage – find out who owns the road, then check out the policy of that managing agency.
- Take photos of the pothole and the resulting damage immediately after it happens.
- Note the date and time of the accident, and also note how long the pothole has been there if it is a road you travel frequently.
- Get a repair estimate from a respected, certified body shop to submit with your claim.