Potholes can appear on any road at any time, without any warning. They are usually caused by the expansion and contraction of water both in and on the ground, due to varying temperatures. They are common during winter and spring, for potholes that do appear in the colder months, you may have to wait several weeks for them to be effectively repaired by highway maintenance teams.
The uneven, sudden drop of a pothole puts a lot of stress on a vehicle’s tyres and suspension.
As tough as modern cars are, there’s a chance a pothole could damage a tyre to the point of puncture, add excess wear to suspension components or break them entirely.
Larger and deeper Potholes could even damage alloy wheels and components underneath a vehicle. If you notice anything unusual with your vehicle after a pothole hit, get your car checked at your local garage.
“Hitting a pothole may seem really inconsequential, but in addition to the short term dangers such as a tyre blow out or wheel damage, there is a real risk of longer term damage. Some drivers simply aren’t aware that some of the technological safety devices on vehicles such as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems or Lane Assist, all depend on the wheels being properly aligned. In the worst case scenario, a vehicle could be rendered unsafe, just as a result of an impact with a pothole.”
Swansway Accident Repair Centre Manager, Mark Trevers
Tyre Pressure - Be sure to keep you tyres at the optimum pressure; over or under inflated tyres will make pothole damage more likely.
Be wary of puddles - Don’t always assume a puddle in the road is just a puddle, it could conceal a pothole and that pothole could be deep. Try to avoid driving your wheels through the puddle, however if that's not possible approach with more caution.
Stay alert - Try and spot potholes early by looking at the road ahead so you can take action to avoid them altogether.
No swerving - Don’t suddenly swerve to avoid a pothole, it could put both you and any on-coming cars in danger. Your best option to minimise any damage is to keep your hands on the steering wheel at 10 to 2, and to move straight forwards, keeping the tyres and the vehicle in their most resilient position.
Reduce your speed - A soon as you spot a pothole, gently reduce your speed. The quicker you hit a pothole, the more likely your vehicle is to sustain damage.
Braking whilst in a pothole - Once you go over the pothole try to avoid braking. This can cause more damage as when you brake it places more stress on the front suspension.
Steering Wheel Grip - Avoid the possibility of the steering wheel being knocked out of your hands due to the bumpy and uneven surface by ensuring you hold it firmly and preferably in the 10 to 2 position.
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