It’s happened to everyone. You’re driving along the road and suddenly- BANG! You hit a pothole. Most of the time, the worst hitting a pothole does is startle you, but sometimes it can cause major damage to your car. So what is a pothole, what causes them, and why can they be so destructive to your vehicle? Here are potholes explained.
What causes potholes?
Potholes are divots in the road formed when snow and ice melt and the moisture gets trapped beneath the pavement through cracks that come from wear and tear on the road. When the trapped water freezes, it expands, forcing the pavement to rise and crack. A shallow hole forms as the cycle continues.
How are potholes fixed?
Road crews fix potholes by cleaning out the broken pavement debris and refilling it with asphalt.
What kind of damage can potholes do?
The range of damage hitting potholes can do to your car depends on the size of the hole and speed you were going when you hit it. Your vehicle can sustain scratches on its under carriage, or more serious damage like broken mechanical components. If you’ve hit a pothole but aren’t sure of the extent of the damage, take your car into a mechanic right away.
How do you avoid potholes?
Sometimes hitting a pothole is inevitable and there isn’t much you can do to avoid one, but if you can see a hole in the road, slow down. The slower your speed is when you hit one, the less damage will occur. If there are no cars around you, safely steer away from the hole if possible. Be sure to note the exact location of the hole so you can report it to your town to be repaired.
Potholes can be dangerous so do your best to avoid them, but sometimes you have no choice. If you do hit one,take your car into a trusted mechanic right away.