Have you driven over a deep pothole? The undercarriage of your car will likely bear the brunt of the impact. Take note that potholes are somewhat inevitable due to the changing temperatures and weather. So if the damage has been done, the only thing you can do is to focus on the necessary repairs. Here are some tips you can follow:
Is your car damaged by potholes?
Some car owners are too oblivious to notice if their vehicles have sustained damage due to potholes. If you’re passing through several potholes every day, there’s a chance that your car has sustained a level of damage already. Here are some of the possible signs:
*Bulging on the sidewall of the tire
*Vibrations when steering
*The car pulls to one side
*Weird noises, especially on the undercarriage
*The light on the dashboard turns on
If you notice these symptoms, we recommend having your car inspected right away. This is to prevent further damage and to avoid accidents on the road.
Who’s responsible for the pothole?
In some states, you can file for a claim if the government is deemed responsible for the poor road conditions. For example, in Pennsylvania, you can submit a pothole damage claim, so the repair costs will be reimbursed to you.
However, just like an insurance claim, you have to prove that it’s indeed the pothole that caused the damage. You have to show photos of the street and the damages that happened to your car. This way, the reimbursement will be given quickly.
Should you file an insurance claim?
If your state doesn’t have a pothole damage reimbursement system, you can consider an insurance claim instead. However, the big question is this: is pothole damage covered in your policy?
Take note that most insurers categorize pothole damages as a form of collision. With this, you have a significant chance of having your claim approved, assuming you have proper documentation and proof, of course.
However, not all pothole damage is best submitted as a claim. If the repair cost is small, you should consider paying out of your own pocket. That way, your insurance premiums won’t increase.
While you’re waiting for your car to be repaired, have the diligence to report the pothole to your locality. This way, other motorists won’t face the same problems as you. The local highway and road bureau must fix potholes right away as they can cause accidents. Patching up the potholes right away will prevent them from getting bigger.
Avoid potholes in the future
Being watchful of your environment will prevent you from driving through potholes. Also, if your area is notorious for potholes, slow down and keep a distance from the car in front of you. That way, you can see the road and dodge the holes.
Lastly, keep your tires inflated and don’t trust puddles. It may seem like a shallow pool, but you’ll be surprised by the impact when you found out that it’s a deep hole.