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How To: Avoid Pothole Damage

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Nowadays, it’s impossible to drive around without encountering multiple potholes, especially after the harsh winters we endure. Although potholes can seem as though it is just a small bump in the road, but by hitting just one can cause a lot of damage to your car.

The sorts of issues can range from puncturing your tyre to damaging your car’s steering and suspension, and potentially even causing an accident if the pothole swerves your car in a different direction. We’ve put together a list of ways you can avoid potholes to ensure you, and your car remains safe on the road.

1. Drive Slowly and Steadily

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Hitting a pothole at a high speed can unsettle your car and increase its chances of sustaining serious damage. If you notice a pothole approaching, you should stick to a steady speed. What you should also keep in mind is that if it’s been raining, which it often is in the UK, and you can see puddles around, be wary as those puddles could potentially be covering up a large pothole.

2. Keep a Grip on the Steering Wheel

Potholes can severely affect your car’s steering and could cause your car to veer off the side of the road. That’s why you must keep a firm grip on your steering wheel, so, if you were to hit one, you can quickly correct it and keep yourself in your lane.

3. Remember the Two-second Rules

If you remember back to your driving lesson days, you may remember being told to leave a two-second distance between you and the car in front. This rule is important to follow when it comes to potholes as leaving a two-second distance from the car in front of you will give you enough time to react if the car was to hit a pothole.

4. Keep Off the Brakes

If you were to hit a pothole, your instinct would be to slam on the brakes to minimise the damage. However, by braking, you could be putting your car more at risk as this places more stress on your car's suspension. What you should do is slow down before you reach the pothole, and make sure to keep off the brakes if you do end up hitting it.

5. Keep Your Tyres Inflated

It’s vital to make sure your tyre pressures are right, and that your tyres aren’t overinflated or underinflated, particularly when it comes to the pothole season. Correctly inflated tyres will help to reduce the damage that comes after hitting a pothole, as it will lower the chances of blowouts or punctures on the road.

6. Check for Damage

If you've just hit a pothole and immediately hear a strange noise, you might want to pretend nothing happened and carry on about your day – but this could be an indication of serious damage. If you’re worried that you’ve damaged your vehicle, you should pull over as soon as possible providing it's a safe place, and check for any damage. If something doesn’t look safe or feel safe, you should bring your car to a garage near you to get it checked over – you don’t want to let a small problem turn into a serious issue.

How to Report Potholes

The best way to keep your car safe from damage would be for the roads to be completely clear of any potholes. As this isn’t exactly possible, you can report any potholes you come across to your council as this could save you and many others from damaging their cars.