As New Englanders, we know all too well that at the end of each winter, roadways are left with damage from months of ice, freezing rain, and fluctuating temperatures. These conditions create cracks that eventually turn into potholes under the weight of passing cars above. If you’re not careful, driving over a single pothole can cause up to thousands of dollars in damage to your vehicle.
Dislodged wheels, popped tires, dented rims, and damage to the body of your vehicle are all common problems for drivers in New England come springtime. If you’re proactive about routine maintenance and keep a close eye on the roads as you drive, you can reduce your risk of experiencing significant damage to your car.
Keep these 5 tips in mind to protect your vehicle this pothole season:
- Inspect your tires.
Your tires offer the most important level of protection between your vehicle and a pothole. Each time you head out on the road, do a quick check of your tires for nails, worn down tread, and deflation. Staying on top of these three indicators can help you avoid an unexpected flat tire. If you do experience a low tire, your maintenance guide will tell you what the appropriate tire pressure is for your vehicle.
- Look ahead.
If you keep an eye on the road in front of you, you may have time to safely avoid a pothole. Remain alert and avoid distractions to best be prepared. If you do spot a pothole, check your mirrors and surrounding traffic before you swerve to avoid causing a collision or endangering a pedestrian or cyclist.
- Drive slow.
Driving slow can help you spot a pothole ahead of you and the slower speed will also alleviate some of the impact should you run over a pothole. Hitting one of these at 20 miles per hour will inflict far less damage than if you hit one at 60 miles per hour, avoiding serious issues with your wheel and suspension systems.
- Avoid puddles.
When puddles collect on the roadways, there is probably a pothole underneath it. Even if you spot it ahead of time, the water can make it difficult to know how big and deep the pothole is. Try to avoid them entirely if you can safely do so.
- Conduct regular maintenance.
The key to protecting your vehicle long-term is to have it checked regularly. Staying up to date on routine procedures might help you and/or a professional identify a potential problem. For example, hearing noises, noticing a slight veer to the left or right, or feeling a new vibration as you drive can all indicate vulnerabilities that can lead to costly problems if you hit a pothole.
We hope these tips help keep you and your vehicle safe on the road. If you are interested in reviewing your auto insurance options or policy, talk to a member of the customer service team at Eastern Insurance about your insurance options. They can be reached by phone at 1-800-333-7234 (Option 2), or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.