We seem to have a pretty good crop so far this year. It almost seems after each rainfall there’s more and more. The crop seems to grow quickly when the mild weather happens. Does this sound familiar? Do you think I’m referring to fruits and vegetables? I’m actually referring to potholes on our roads. The mild weather seems to create more potholes after a cold winter, so what can we do to prevent being gobbled up by them? Well, I’m glad you asked!
The first thing to realize is what type of damage driving into a large pothole can do to your vehicle. It can cause a fair bit of damage to your vehicle’s suspension system, alignment, steering control, your tires and your rims. Those are enough reasons to avoid driving in a pothole as they can be very costly repairs.
To help you spot potholes early enough to avoid them, look well ahead and see if you can spot a change in the shading of the pavement. If it’s darker, it may be an actual pothole. This gives you early information to do something to avoid having your wheels drive into it. The other advantage of looking ahead is if you notice the vehicles ahead of you all moving over slightly, chances are there’s a reason and that reason may very well be a pothole. Seems like a good reason to follow the trend, doesn’t it?
Another way to spot a pothole is seeing larger puddles on the road. If it hasn’t rained recently, chances are that the puddle you spotted is actually a pothole holding onto that water. Again, do your best to avoid driving into that larger puddle.
Now that you’ve spotted the pothole, how can you avoid driving into it? Many drivers will slow down dramatically before they hit the pothole, but that can still damage your vehicle. The added problem of slowing down is the traffic behind you. Those drivers may not expect you’re about to suddenly brake and may not be prepared. So why increase the odds of vehicle damage just to avoid vehicle damage?
The best thing to do is to adjust your vehicle’s position on the road. Sometimes that means moving closer to the lane next to you. To ensure you can do that safely, it’s a good idea to position your vehicle in traffic so that there won’t be another vehicle immediately beside your vehicle. This is commonly referred to as a staggered position. In other words, you’re driving beside space. This space allows you a safe cushion to move into to avoid those dreaded potholes.
Making these changes to your driving not only helps you keep control of your vehicle under these conditions, but it also saves you money for repairs. Seems like a win-win situation to me.
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