If you have been driving anywhere in Florida recently, you are most likely very familiar with coming upon potholes in the road and trying to maneuver around them. Unfortunately, some potholes are larger than others and are more difficult to safely get around. We all know potholes create an annoying and bumpy ride, but they can also damage your vehicle if you do not handle them carefully while driving. Here are a few things you can do to safely maneuver potholes and minimize the risk of damage to your vehicle.
There are a number of different factors that cause potholes to form in the road. Most potholes are caused by normal wear and tear on the road from continuous traffic passing over it. Over time, the weight of multiple vehicles passing over the road repeatedly weakens the pavement and causes cracks to form in the road. If these small cracks are not filled in quickly enough, they can then expand and cause a pothole to form. Another factor that causes many potholes to form in Florida is the heavy rains and flooded roads that consistently occur. Water seeps into the tiny cracks in the pavement and weakens the road from underneath. Over time, these weak spots eventually cave in under the constant pressure from heavy traffic.
Because it is very common to encounter at least one, if not many, potholes while driving, it is essential to know what to do in order to safely maneuver around them. The most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your vehicle from potholes while driving is to keep a safe distance between your car and any cars in front of you. Maintaining a safe distance will allow you to see potholes more easily and clearly and will provide you with the time to respond appropriately to them. You should also pay close attention to any puddles of water on the road, as they are often hiding a pothole underneath them. If you are able to safely drive around the pothole without interrupting the flow of traffic, you should do so.
Unfortunately, there are times when it is not possible to safely drive around the pothole. In these cases, you are going to have to drive over the pothole with as much caution as is possible. If you absolutely have to drive over a pothole, you should always do so slowly. You should also make sure you have a steady grasp of the steering wheel to protect you from losing control of the car. Because your vehicle’s tires are the only protection between your car and the pothole, it is important to ensure your tires are always fully inflated according to the recommended levels of the manufacturer as low tires may have difficulty withstanding the impact of driving over a pothole.