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Pothole Damages Mount over $15 Billion

It's the season of pothole again.  After the mega snow storm that has swept across many regions in the last months, we are seeing some equally massive potholes all over the places.

A new AAA study found that pothole related damage has cost U.S. drivers $15 billion dollars in vehicle repairs over the last five years.  That dollar figure is probably accounting for direct repair costs for damages occurred right after hitting a pothole.

The same study also found that over the last five years 16 million drivers have incurred vehicle damages: bent wheels, broken tires or even suspension damage. The average repair cost was about $300.

So how can you prevent or minimize damages from a pothole.  Most importantly, you don't want to swerve around it in the middle of traffic, especially at high speed which can result in a huge multi-car accident.

Here are some tips from experts:

  • Slow down if you cannot avoid hitting a pothole.  But make sure to release the brake before the impact time
  • Straighten the steering wheel before hitting it
  • Inflate your tire properly
  • Replace tires that are worn beyond minimum thread depth

How to identify pothole damages

If you hit a pothole that's deeper and larger than a average one at a high speed.  There is probably some level of damage to your car.  Here are the areas you may want to inspect.

Tires: Your tire’s sidewall can bulge. That's a sign that you need to replace the tire.

Suspension:  If you are starting to feel that your vehicle is more bouncy or rough or tends to “roll” on turns, it’s time to get your vehicle’s suspension inspected.

Rims: Unless your car is equipped with older steel rims, they’re likely aluminum-based. That means they’re susceptible to dents. And if the pothole damage comes from a deep depression, hit at high speed? Bent rims are likely result.  You can have it checked at a professional tire shops.

Undercarriage: Hitting a pothole can dent or puncture the undercarriage of your car. You may need a complete vehicle inspection for leaks and broken components.

Exhaust System: Any weird noises coming from your exhaust system? The impact from hitting a pothole may have shaken up the exhaust system hard enough to loosen various parts.

Watch out for any other unusual noise coming from your car.

What to do if your car is damaged from a pothole

Some cities, like Chicago and New York, may offer limited compensation under certain circumstances but only after you follow their claim processes. However, you may also be able to make an insurance claim for pothole damage with your own insurance company, and be reimbursed for the cost of repairs minus your deductible. 

Pothole Damages Mount over $15 Billion Reviewed by Brandon on 11:17 AM Rating: 5

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