Auto Insights: Potholes and Your Car

According to a AAA survey, potholes caused significant vehicular damage for 1 in 10 drivers in 2021. The average cost to repair pothole-related damage was $600 but exceeded $1,000 in some cases. What’s worse, the same drivers often filed multiple claims, averaging two pothole-related repairs a year. Common pothole-related damages include wheel and tire damage and damage to the suspension, steering and alignment systems.

Potholes form when groundwater freezes beneath the pavement, causing it to expand and crack. When the ice melts, gaps are left under the pavement, weakening its structure until the pavement breaks beneath the weight of cars. Although potholes may be unavoidable, vehicular damage doesn’t have to be.

Consider the following guidelines for avoiding pothole-related damage:

Ensure your tires have proper inflation, tread depth, alignment and suspension. Scan the road ahead for potholes and drive around them when it’s safe.

Avoid driving through standing water (which may conceal deep potholes) whenever possible. Slow down and avoid sudden braking if you must drive over a pothole or through standing water. Be aware of any new sounds or vibrations in your vehicle after hitting a pothole.

Take your car to a trusted mechanic for a full inspection if necessary.

Does My Insurance Cover Potholes?

Collision coverage typically helps pay for pothole-related damages. This optional type of auto insurance can help pay for damage caused by collisions with objects (e.g., potholes or guard rails). This coverage typically has a deductible, which is an out-of-pocket cost you must pay before your coverage kicks in. You may choose not to file a claim with your insurance company if the cost to repair pothole-related damage is less than your deductible.

For additional driving safety guidance and auto insurance solutions, contact us today.