Winter and spring weather can be brutal on asphalt and gravel roads. Ask any driver traveling on any city street or rural road at this time of year what to expect for road conditions and they will talk about the growing population of potholes. Following the recent winter storm that impacted over half of the United States and the historic rainfall in the western US, potholes may be worse than ever in 2023.
Hitting a pothole is more than annoying. It can cause hundreds of dollars in damage to tires, steering systems, and vehicle alignment. For motorcyclists, hitting a pothole can result in a serious accident. Luckily, State Farm has tips for drivers on how to avoid potholes, what to do if a driver has damage, and even how to report a pothole to city/county/state officials for reimbursement of damages.
What can I do to avoid damage from potholes?
- Pump it up. Keeping your tires properly inflated may reduce damage. If tires are under-inflated, the impact from hitting a pothole is much more likely to damage tires, rims and suspension.
- Slow down. Travelling at a safe speed for the road conditions and keeping your eyes on the road can all help you avoid the damage that can come with hitting a pothole.
- Stay in your lane. Avoid sudden swerving to avoid a pothole as it may result in loss of control of the car or vehicle.
- Pay it forward. If you notice a road that has potholes, you can report the roadway hazard to your local city or county transportation department so they are aware of the issue.
How do I know if a pothole caused damage?
While most vehicles are built to withstand rough road conditions, hitting a very large or deep pothole can damage your steering, suspension, or alignment systems. Some signs of pothole damage might include a pulling sensation in one direction, dents in your tires or rims, or low tire pressure.
Is damage from potholes covered by insurance?
Pothole damage is usually covered with collision coverage, minus the deductible. Since the pothole damage your vehicle may incur could fall below the amount of your deductible, typically $500 or $1,000, it may not always be practical to file a claim.
Can I get paid by my city or state for pothole damage?
Some cities, counties, or states may pay for pothole damage in certain cases. A driver who has had pothole damage needs to determine which jurisdiction is responsible for the road and inquire about compensation for pothole damage. The driver may need photos of the damage and the pothole plus an estimate or two for the claim. Be aware there may be a time limit for compensation so don’t wait to file a claim.
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