pot holeIt’s been a long and cold winter but in just a handful of weeks, we’ll trade in slippery roads for a new hazard, potholes.

A deep freeze followed by a quick thaw can damage the road with potholes since all that expanding and contracting weakens the roads.

Between January 2017 and January 2018, the Philadelphia Streets Department filled in at least 1,600 potholes. However, in a region so prone to craters, it’s hard to keep up.

Tips for Avoiding Damage From Potholes

Hitting a pothole with your car can result in serious and expensive tire damage, so it’s best to protect your car from damage and to avoid driving over potholes. Here are some tips for doing just that, courtesy of AAA:

  1. Check Your Tires: Check your tire pressure and treads regularly, since worn or under-inflated tires are more vulnerable to damage. Use the pressure level recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual, or in the sticker on the driver’s door jam. To check treads, stick a penny in the tread. If you can see Abraham Lincoln’s head, it’s time for new tires.
  2. Check Your Suspension: Be sure that your struts, shock absorbers, and other parts of your suspension are operational. If you’re suspicious of a suspension issue, have your suspension checked by a certified tech.
  3. Look Ahead: When you’re driving, keep your eyes peeled for potholes. If you’re prepared, you can come up with a way to safely avoid them. Leave a safe distance between you and the car in front of you for maximum visibility. Before swerving around a crater, make sure your path is clear of pedestrians and cyclists.
  4. Slow Down: There will be times when you cannot safely swerve out of the way to avoid the pothole. In this case, you should slow down as much as possible in order to minimize damage.
  5. Look Out For Puddles: It’s easy for a puddle to camouflage a deep pothole, so be wary of any standing water.
  6. Recognize Vibrations: Running over potholes can dislodge wheel weights, damage a tire, or break suspension components. During this pothole-heavy time on the road, pay attention to any strange movements coming from your car.

We hope you, your tires, and your suspension survive the rest of the winter!


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