How Does a Pothole Form?
Rain and snow seep into the soil below the surface of the road. When temperatures
drop, the moisture below the surface freezes, causing the ground to expand and push
the pavement up. When the temperatures rise, the ground returns to its normal level
but may create a gap between the ground and the pavement. A pothole is created
when vehicles drive over these areas, causing the pavement to crack and fall into the
gap between the pavement and the ground.
Avoiding a Pothole
Be alert and aware of the vehicles ahead of you to determine whether there are
potholes ahead. Switch lanes if possible to avoid an upcoming pothole. When swerving
to avoid a pothole, be sure to check for other vehicles and pedestrians.
Try to remember the location of potholes on any route you travel regularly.
How to Drive Over a Pothole
If you cannot avoid a pothole, do not brake during impact. Braking while driving over a
pothole causes your tires to skid over it instead of roll. It is best to apply the brakes
before the pothole and release them before your tires hit the pothole. This allows the
shock absorbers on your vehicle to do their job and absorb the impact.
Hold and grip the steering wheel tightly to maintain control of your vehicle while
driving over a pothole.
Signs of Damage
Pay attention to how your vehicle drives after you hit a pothole. You should have your
vehicle checked by a professional if you experience any of the following:
- Vehicle pulls to one side
- Steering feels wobbly
- Noticeable bends or dents in any of your rims
- Fluid leaks
- Recurring loss of tire pressure