Wintertime brings with it a safety nuisance for drivers: Potholes. That’s because freezing and thawing of water under pavement weakens the road and causes large cracks. Add to that the weight of vehicles driving over the road, and eventually potholes form.
Experts offer a number of strategies for avoiding potholes and best practices for dealing with them when there is no alternative. Here is some advice to keep in mind:
- Make sure tires are properly inflated — Tires with too much or too little air don't hold up as well as against potholes as properly inflated ones.
- Look ahead at the road — It may sound obvious, but drivers often forget to keep an eye out for potholes.
- Don't tailgate — This kills visibility, making it virtually impossible to spot potholes in advance of hitting them.
- Slow down when you see a pothole, but don't brake directly over a pothole — This can cause more damage as it puts stress on the tire, wheel and suspension.
- When driving over a pothole, hold the steering wheel firmly and straight to avoid losing control.
- Finally, experts agree that avoiding potholes is a smart move, but don’t have an accident just to avoid hitting one.
To learn more about avoiding and coping with potholes, watch the video featuring automotive expert and author of three automotive books, Lauren Fox, The Car Coach.