It’s now the time where spring potholes have developed to their peak size and depth, and roads are running at half capacity, slowing down traffic to fill them in.
Whether you’re on your way to work, picking the kids up from school, or heading out for a little vacation, these menacing black holes are just about everywhere. Like anyone, you want to keep your vehicle in the best shape possible and are always cautious to evade any avoidable damage. However, sometimes these potholes will sneak up on you, or sometimes there’s just too many to avoid.
Well, what is the ideal way to handle a nasty pothole, should you encounter one while out on the road? There are actually some tips and tricks you should make note of to help minimize the chance of unneeded damage. So without further ado, here are 5 tips to avoid the worst of pothole damage as we make our way further into the summer season.
1. Release the Brakes
When you see a pothole approaching, you naturally want to hit the brakes. While it is good to slow your speed down to the best of your ability, you’ll want to release your brakes before hitting the hole. This will help to lessen the impact and the load on your vehicle’s suspension.
2. Don't Swerve
Another instinct you may have, especially with a surprise pothole, is to try to swerve around it. If you have the space and time to navigate around the hole, try to do so slowly and smoothly while maintaining close attention to the traffic around you. Jerking the wheel can cause more damage to your vehicle, or make you lose control, causing an accident.
3. Proper Tire Pressure
Though having the proper pressure in your tires won’t guarantee an absence of damage, it’s definitely one of your best shots at it. Before heading out on the roads in peak pothole season, check your tire pressure and make sure it’s at the optimal level for your vehicle. If you’re unsure of your vehicle’s ideal pressure, check your owner’s manual or the vehicle specs.
4. Check Tire Alignment
If a pothole does jump up and bite you, some damage may be visible, but there may be even further damage that isn’t. Damage like having your tires unaligned can make them wear unevenly, causing a more frequent need for replacement. A vehicle with unaligned tires will also pull to the right or left while driving. Should you notice this being your case, you’ll want to bring your vehicle in to a technician for a wheel alignment.
5. Routine Vehicle Maintenance
Keeping up with your routine vehicle maintenance check-ins is an important practice, regardless, but if you get into a rough encounter with a pothole, it is very important to stop by as soon as you can. Bad potholes can affect your vehicle’s body, suspension, wheels, and/or undercarriage. This can cause thousands of dollars in damage in only seconds. So, it is always a good idea to stay on top of your vehicle’s maintenance appointments.
Keep these tips and tricks with you, and you should be able to take on any road this summer! Remember to stay focused and observant when out on the roads, don’t forget your maintenance check-ins, and have safe, fun travels!