Our cars are taking a beating as this winter’s freeze-thaw cycle is leading to deep potholes on virtually all of Nebraska’s roads.
A spokeswoman for the state’s largest auto insurer says smacking a pothole just right may do a lot more than rattle your teeth, it can translate to an expensive repair bill.
Ann Avery, at State Farm in Lincoln, offers a few tips for avoiding the bumps in the road.
“Try to take roads you know well because your familiarity may help you avoid the potholes and see them coming,” Avery says. “When driving at night, travel on well-lit roads, if you have the option, as it helps you see the surface so you’ll be able to see the pothole before you get to it.”
It’s also an advantage to slow down and give yourself a chance to spot the pothole and avoid it before you’re in it.
“If you’re approaching a pothole and you can’t avoid it safely, do your braking before impact. There’s likely to be less damage when the tire is rolling rather than skidding over the hole,” Avery says. “If you do hit a pothole, take a good look at your tires and your wheels. If they have any damage, if the car is handling differently, if it’s ‘pulling’ one way or another, it might be time to get your car checked by a professional.”
A close encounter with a road crater can lead to wrecked tires, dented wheels and suspension trouble.
“If you do have damage from a pothole, that can cost anywhere from $300 to $700 on average,” she says.
Potholes can be a bigger hazard for motorcyclists. She recommends riders try to go around the chuckholes and to do so safely, you must be able to spot them from a distance. Slow down before reaching the obstacle and make sure you have enough room before changing direction.