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Pothole Tips

If you live in Michigan, you know that potholes are a reality. We know that potholes can be frustrating, but there are some tips that can help you deal with potholes and avoid damage to your vehicle.

Be Alert

Stating the obvious, it is best to avoid hitting potholes whenever possible. That is easier to do if you are driving cautiously and not tailgating, which allows you more time to see and react to any approaching potholes.

Unfortunately, potholes are not always obvious in the daylight and they are even harder to spot in the dark. Make sure your headlights are working and your windshield is clear. Also, be extra cautious around puddles because it could be a pothole filled with water. Lastly, keep a firm grip on your steering wheel because potholes can cause your vehicle to change direction suddenly.

Potholes can cause your vehicle to change direction suddenly. Do not swerve into an occupied lane, which could lead to a collision causing further damage or injury.

Vehicle Maintenance

Hitting a pothole can damage your vehicle. However, there are some things you can do to keep it to a minimum.

Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Over- or under-inflated tires fare worse when they tangle with a pothole. Tires showing excessive wear or bulges in the sidewalls will not hold up as well to potholes, either.

Have a qualified mechanic check your vehicle's suspension and steering components. Steering that is in good condition and responsive can help you avoid hitting potholes. Shocks, struts, and springs that are in good condition can help cushion the blow.

Driving Technique

If you spot a pothole ahead and cannot safely steer to avoid it, it is best to slow down,  straighten your wheel to hit it squarely, release the brakes, and roll through. This helps to reduce the speed at impact and give your suspension the full range of travel to absorb the impact.

Hitting a pothole at an angle can transfer the energy of impact in ways more likely to damage your vehicle.

Hitting a Pothole

Tire and wheel damage are common in pothole hits. Be sure to look your vehicle over for obvious signs of damage. If your car is pulling one way or the other, you may need to get your steering realigned. If your vehicle is "bottoming out" or bouncing, you may have a damaged suspension. If these are occurring, you should have your vehicle checked out and repaired by a qualified mechanic.

Remember: A properly maintained vehicle can help you avoid road hazards.

Report It

Whether you hit a pothole or you missed it, you can save your fellow motorists the headache and costs of repairs by reporting it.

If the pothole is located on a city street or county road, report it to your city public works department or county road commission.

If the pothole is located on a state trunkline (M, I, or US route), report it via our online form or call the Pothole Hotline at 888-296-4546.