So You Hit A Pothole The Size Of A Small Swimming Pool, What's The Worst That Can Happen?

The roads of America are riddled with potholes, mostly created by the forces of nature, from the torrential rains of Florida to the bitter, brutal Winters of New England. Wherever you happen to be driving, if you hit a pothole, bad things can happen to your car, beginning with the tires. 

The Potential Damage

Hitting a pothole can be scary, especially if you didn't see it coming. Furthermore, your tire(s), rims, steering, suspension, and more may be adversely affected. Even the very frame of the car is susceptible if the pothole is deep enough or your vehicle hits it with enough force. Be on the lookout for potholes following a long, hard Winter in which the roads experienced constant contractions and expansions, along with plowing from heavy equipment.

Sometimes, your tires won't immediately show you there's been damage to your vehicle; however, eventually, you may notice uneven balding on one side as a result of your alignment taking a hit from a pothole. As common and damning as these menaces of the asphalt may be, it's often challenging to hold anyone accountable for them.

The Culpable Party

Some cities and towns will reimburse drivers for damage inflicted on a vehicle as a result of their sloppy road maintenance. If you're not so fortunate as to live in one of those areas, your insurance may still cover damage directly related to the pothole (as opposed to cumulative damage done to the tires over time). Take pictures of both your car and the pothole, if you can do so safely, and give your insurer a call. No matter who ends up footing the bill, though, you need to make sure your tires are safe for you to drive on.

The Purveyor Of New Tires

If one or more of your tires is seriously damaged after plummeting through a pothole, or if you're not certain there's enough damage to warrant repairs, head to a tire replacement service. Explain your ordeal, asking them to either check for possible problems or verify the need for new wheels. Driving on a damaged tire can be harmful to the rest of the vehicle, especially your rims, but it's also risky for your safety, as a tire that blows out can lead to an accident. Even if your tires look fine, if the pothole was major or you really felt the car being jolted, take no chances.

Your tires are too important to act like nothing happened when they collide with a pothole, no matter how much you may wish no harm was done. Always inspect your vehicle after such a violent event and be sure to have a professional take a peek, too. Tire replacement is needed eventually for all vehicles, but it may come a lot sooner if you encounter too many perilous potholes.