It’s officially pothole season.
Potholes can pop up on roadways during any season, but why do they seem so prevalent during the first few months of the year?
When winter is ending and spring is on the horizon, the weather is constantly fluctuating between mild and freezing temperatures. Rain, snow, and ice get into smaller holes and cracks in the pavement, and as the temperature jumps back and forth from high to low, the precipitation continually freezes and thaws expanding those pavement cracks causing others to form. As cars and heavy trucks drive over them, the asphalt chips away, thus creating potholes.
Potholes, no matter how small, can wreak havoc on your entire vehicle. Here are 5 ways hitting a pothole can cause damage.
1. Steering & Suspension
Your vehicle’s suspension absorbs bumps so you can’t feel them when you drive. If you cause enough wear and tear on your suspension system, it could result in a number of problems with your steering, including: vibrations, noises when you turn, vehicle pulling to one side, etc.
Vehicles that ride lower to the ground have a better chance of being damaged by a pothole. They can cause scratches and scrapes, that aren’t dangerous until they start to rust or leak. They can also rip off low-hanging bumpers.
3. Tires & Wheels
It’s no secret that debris from potholes can cause holes, leaks, and tears in your tire, but when you hit a pothole fast enough, it can also cause a complete tire blowout. Potholes can also damage your wheels by bending or cracking your rim. And if there is visible damage, you’ll likely have to replace the entire wheel.
4. Body & Exhaust System
Pavement debris and rocks can scratch the paint on your vehicle and cause rips and leaks in your exhaust pipes, muffler, and catalytic converter. If your exhaust pipes have been damaged, it can be a serious issue. Ripped pipes can leak exhaust fumes into the cabin of your vehicle and cause serious health issues (including death). If you hear a strange noise or lose power after hitting a pothole, there is a good chance your exhaust pipes have been damaged and you need to pull over.
5. Loss of Control
Lastly, one of the most dangerous consequences of hitting a pothole is that it could cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Losing control for even a few seconds, could not only cause damage to your vehicle, but could also be deadly for you and your passengers. That is why it is important to watch the road for potholes when you drive and try and avoid them.
Potholes are extremely dangerous for you and your vehicle, but sometimes accidents do happen.
So, what if you accidentally hit a pothole, is damage done to your vehicle covered by insurance? Typically pothole damage is covered if you have collision insurance. If you aren’t sure, call your agent and review your coverage today.
This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.