(BEDFORD) – As winter becomes a memory, the telltale sign of the season is the sudden increase in the number of potholes.
A close encounter with a car crater can lead to totaled tires, wheels, and suspension. Vehicle repairs from a pothole can cost drivers from $300 to $700 or more.
Judy Macy, of State Farm, says a recent AAA study estimates that potholes cost drivers nearly $3 billion each year.
Potholes can occur in any climate but are prominent this time of year in areas that have experienced ice, snow, and freezing temperatures. The freezing and thawing cycles allow moisture to seep into the road surface, which causes the road to crumble.
Pothole-Related Driving Tips from State Farm
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:
- Slow down and don’t tailgate. Give yourself a chance to see the pothole.
- If you can’t avoid a pothole, do your braking before impact. There’s less damage when a tire is rolling than when skidding over a hole during braking (which can damage the braking system).
- Try to take roads you know well. Your familiarity will help you avoid potholes.
- At night, travel on well-lit roads so you can see the surface.
- If you hit a pothole, inspect your tires and wheels for damage. Note how your car handles. If it “pulls” one way or the other or the steering feels wobbly, you may want to have your car checked by a professional.
Does My Auto Insurance Cover Pothole Damage?
Potholes are a fact of life for anyone who drives. These road hazards are not only a nuisance, but they can also do extensive damage to your vehicle. If you hit a pothole and your vehicle is damaged, there are a few ways to address your issues:
- The damage 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.
- Contact your insurance agent to report damage and discuss your specific coverage and deductible, to determine whether it’s worth filing a claim.
- Report the pothole to the local or state agency responsible for maintaining the road.
If you have insurance questions or need a quote contact Judy Macy – State Farm Insurance Agent at her office at
2359 16th St. or call 812-275-3811.