Many potholes are caused when relentless freezing and thawing of water under the pavement weakens the road and causes large cracks, which, when combined with the weight of vehicles driving over, eventually turn into potholes. Because of the role freezing can play in pothole formation, severe winter weather can often lead to lots of potholes.
If you live in a city with lots of potholes, here are a few safety tips:
- Properly inflated tires hold up better against potholes than tires that have too much or too little air.
- If you can’t avoid a pothole, slow down before you hit it. But don’t brake directly over a pothole, which can actually cause more damage.
- When driving over the pothole, hold the steering wheel firmly to avoid losing control.
- Use caution when driving over a puddle of water because it might be a pothole in hiding.
Potholes can cause serious damage to my car, even if they are small, some potholes can have as much impact on your car as a 35mph car crash.
In addition to causing structural damage to the tire itself, potholes may cause additional damage to your tires if they are over- or under-inflated. Potholes may also cause alignment, suspension or steering problems.
The Car Care Council says these are some symptoms of pothole damage:
- Bulges or blisters on the tire sidewalls.
- Dents in the wheel rims.
- Undercarriage damage, including fluid leaks and wear that could lead to rust.
- Odd noises coming from the exhaust system due to dents or punctures.
- The car pulling toward the left or right, instead of going straight, which could indicate an alignment problem.
- Uneven tire wear, which could indicate an alignment problem.
If you notice any of these symptoms, you may want to take your car to a repair facility to have it checked for damage by a professional.