Just Keep Driving: Navigating Pothole Season Like A Pro

After an excruciatingly long winter, it looks like spring may finally be here to stay.  But as the snow melts away, potholes are revealed – and it seems like they’re appearing everywhere this year.

With over 100,000 potholes in Toronto showing up in 2018 alone, your best bet for avoiding costly repairs is to avoid them all together.

Here are some tips on how to keep your vehicle safe:

Stay alert

Staying alert is an important element of driving and navigating potholes is no exception to this. Being aware of the road ahead and surrounding vehicles can give drivers enough time to react appropriately.

Keep going

The instinct when approaching a pothole is to brake in an attempt to slow down. While slowing down is a smart move, braking can cause your vehicle’s wheels to lock, which worsens the impact. Rather, keep driving and take your foot off the gas to slow down as you approach the pothole – keeping damage to a minimum. If possible, driving right over the pothole with your wheels on either side of it will help you avoid it entirely.

Although we try our best to drive around potholes, sometimes a hit is unavoidable. Even the most experienced driver can have difficulty avoiding them when they’re all around the city. Hitting a pothole causes a range of problems, from minor cosmetic damage to suspension damage. Some damage is obvious, but others hide from the naked eye.

Some of the damage you may experience:

  • Cosmetic
  • Suspension
  • Premature tire wear and tear

Let’s focus on the suspension. When your suspension takes a hit, it can result in a misalignment. This means your steering wheel isn’t turning in sync with your tires. The effect of a misalignment is difficulty with ride control. In other words, your vehicle will not navigate the road as effectively. It’s important to get your alignment checked on a regular basis, especially when you know you’ve hit a particularly jarring pothole.

With the looming shadow of vehicle repairs, it’s best to be prepared and know what to do when you’ve hit a pothole. Remember, there are three steps to dealing with a hit: Assess, Check, Maintain.

Assess your vehicle by pulling over safely and examining the damage. If anything is visibly different, write it down and take photographs if you can. Having a complete list of what changed when you hit the pothole will help with both repairs and filing an insurance claim.

Check the damage by seeing an expert who can conduct a full vehicle check, looking at your suspension and any other Getting things checked out as soon as you’ve experienced a hit may prevent further damage.

Maintain your vehicle by keeping up with preventative maintenance. Keeping your tires inflated to a proper pressure, regularly getting your vehicle checked, and keeping an eye on how your vehicle is running are all ways to stay on top of things. Conducting this regularly will help drivers minimize damage from hitting a pothole. 

Remember – pothole season is unavoidable. But costly repairs can be. Doing your best to safely avoid potholes and taking care of damage right away will keep you driving through to summer getaways.

Wanna see an expert about it?  Check out www.oktire.com.


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