Fleet Safety Tip of the Week: Preventing Pothole Damage
Winter weather can take a toll on roads, and potholes can take a toll on fleet vehicles. Here are some driving tips, compiled by the city of Flagstaff, Ariz., aimed at preventing pothole damage. You may want to pass this list along to your drivers as a friendly reminder.
- Hitting potholes can throw your vehicle's front end out of alignment. If you feel your car "pulling" during driving, that's a clue that you could have a problem.
- Check the tread on your tires. Uneven tread wear can be a sign of misalignment. If you hit a severe pothole, have the vehicle's alignment and tire balance checked.
- When you hit a pothole you can damage your tire and/or the metal wheel of your vehicle. Keeping your tires properly inflated will help reduce damage from potholes and other road hazards.
- The impact of potholes on tires increases dramatically with speed and can cause hidden, internal damage that could lead to tire failure weeks, or even months, later. It's best to avoid potholes entirely, but if that's not possible, don't brake during the pothole impact. Instead, apply brakes before hitting a pothole and release them just before impact. Braking during the impact sets up the tire and wheel assembly for a "solid hit" against the edge of the hole. Less severe damage occurs when a tire is rolling than when it is skidding over a hole during braking.