Tips for Avoiding Pothole Damage to Your Car

Pothole damage can cost you big money in vehicle repairs. Hit one and you could damage your car's wheel rims, engine, suspension, exhaust, and steering system...not to mention cause your tires to go flat. Where can you go with a broken car? Nowhere without Roadside Assistance from Direct Auto Insurance!

Potholes are formed by the freezing and thawing of water, excessive heat, road wear and tear, and plain old time. While the most pothole prone areas tend to be where drainage is poor, a lack of road maintenance paired with heavy traffic can also lead to potholes.

See how you can better avoid potholes and the troubles that come with them with these easy-to-follow driving and car care tips.

Maintain tire inflation

Driving on underinflated tires can reduce gas mileage and make it harder to come to a quick stop, but it can also lead to something far more dangerous when there’s a pothole: a blown-out tire. Regularly inspect your tires for damage and make sure they remain properly inflated to the PSI listed on the sticker in your car door frame or owner's manual. And when your tire pressure or TPMS dashboard light comes on, don't let it linger. Places like Jiffy Lube, Discount Tire, and Goodyear Auto Service offer free air checks and inflation, making it easy to stay on top of this tip!

Slow down & leave space

Hitting a pothole at high speeds increases the chance of car damage. Slow down to give yourself time to notice and avoid a potholes from the start. If one can't be avoided, hitting it at a slower speed can help reduce the likelihood that your car is damaged.

Leaving space between yourself and the car in front of you can also give you more time to react and avoid a pothole. You'll be able to see how other drivers are responding to the road ahead and can follow suit if need be.

Avoid puddles

What could be lurking underneath a puddle? Danger! Puddles of water can disguise a deep pothole. Do your best to avoid driving directly through puddles. (This is where driving slower comes in handy, too!) If a puddle can't be avoided, slow your roll and proceed with caution. A simple springtime puddle could be hiding trouble!

Report local potholes

You can be an advocate in your city for pothole repair and awareness. Some states have developed free smartphone apps that make it easy for drivers to report potholes. Others have hotlines and online forms. Do a quick internet search for "report a pothole in [city]" to find the best method for your area.

Take care of pothole damage

Not every pothole can be dodged. Sooner or later, we all hit a dip in the pavement. Hit one and your tires, rims, engine, suspension, and exhaust system could be damaged, or your steering and wheel alignment thrown off. These issues could all lead to an unsafe situation on the road. They could even leave you stranded. Stay safe by visiting your local auto repair shop at the first sign of pothole damage and stay prepared with a Roadside Assistance plan from Direct Auto Insurance. You'll enjoy 24-hour emergency towing and mechanical help so potholes can never get the best of you! Call 1-877-GO-DIRECT (1-877-463-4732) to learn how a plan pays for itself after just one use. 

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