How to Handle Potholes

Potholes — they seem to pop up when you least expect them, and they're tough to avoid.

And hitting one? Not fun. Besides a jolt behind the wheel, they can cost you money if they deteriorate or damage your vehicle.

But not to worry. Here’s everything you need to know to show your neighborhood’s potholes who’s boss.

Pothole Planning

Inflate your tires. A tire could pop if the wheel rim pinches against the jagged edge of a pothole.

Beware of puddles. Deep, sharp-edged potholes filled with water are often disguised as puddles.

Reduce your speed. Hitting a pothole slower generally results in less damage.

Brake lightly. Slamming on your brakes can cause greater tire damage and also compresses your vehicle's front-end suspension system.

Don't swerve. Your vehicle could hit the pothole on an odd angle, causing more damage to the tire, wheel rim and alignment.

I've hit a Pothole. Now What?

Check it out. If you hit a pothole, survey the damage as soon as safely possible.

Examine your tires. Make sure your tires are still inflated in order to reduce damage to wheel rims.

Align properly. If your vehicle pulls to one side, there could be a problem with your alignment.

Make a call. Many cities have a pothole-reporting process. If you see a pothole that needs repair, contact your local streets department.

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Related Topics: On The Road , Car Maintenance , Car Safety , Safe Driving