Potholes Wreak Havoc on Vehicles

By:
Tamara Pachl, Public Affairs Specialist
State Farm®
Territory: Colorado and New Mexico
(o) 970-395-5252 (c) 970-301-1641
Twitter: @SF_TamaraPachl
Winter brings a number of driving hazards, but one tends to rear its ugly head in Colorado after the snow melts and signs of spring return—the dreaded pothole.
 
A close encounter with a crater can lead to wrecked tires, wheels, and suspension components. And, vehicle repairs from damage caused by potholes can cost drivers $300 to $700 or more.
Potholes can occur in any climate but are prominent this time of year. The freezing and thawing cycles allow moisture to seep into the road surface, which causes the road to crumble.
Five Driving Tips for Potholes
Not much can be done to prevent the deterioration of driving surfaces, but there are five things you can do to protect yourself and your vehicle:
 

 

  • Try to take roads you know well. Your familiarity will help you avoid potholes.
  • When driving at night, travel on well-lit roads so you can see the surface.
  • Slow down. Give yourself a chance to see the pothole and avoid it before you’re in it.
  • If you hit a pothole, carefully inspect your tires and wheels for possible damage. Note how your car handles afterward. If it “pulls” one way or the other or the steering feels wobbly, you may want to have your car checked by a professional.
  • If you can’t avoid a pothole, do your braking before impact. There’s less damage when a tire is rolling than skidding over a hole during braking.

 

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Does My Auto Insurance Cover Pothole Damage?
Potholes are a fact of life for anyone who drives on our public highways. These road hazards are not only a nuisance, but can also do extensive damage to your vehicle.
 
If you hit a pothole and your vehicle is damaged, there are a couple of ways to address your issue: 

 

  • The damage done to your car would generally be covered under the collision portion of your auto insurance and subject to the deductible. Tires are NOT covered if that is the only part of the vehicle that is damaged.
  • You may want to contact your insurance agent to report damage and discuss your specific coverage and deductible.