What causes potholes and how do I avoid them?

By Product Expert | Posted in Tips and Tricks on Friday, February 22nd, 2019 at 9:42 pm
Car Driving Towards Pothole

Some of the biggest problems on the road all-year round are potholes. Whether big and obvious or small and sneaky, they act as a huge detriment to all motorists on the road no matter what type of vehicle you’re driving. If you’ve ever wondered what caused potholes, we thought we’d start this blog there. But then we’ll dive into how to avoid them and, ultimately, how to report them to the city when you encounter them.

[ READ MORE: How to Avoid Scratches and Dents on Your Car ]

What causes potholes?

Any damage to the roadways can cause potholes, but there is a scientific reason for the existence of most. The normal wear and tear of traffic creates small cracks in the pavement which otherwise wouldn’t necessarily be a problem, but if water seeps into those cracks when it’s cold outside, it becomes ice and expands below the pavement. This causes the pavement to then rise and ultimately break as traffic continues to course over it and temperatures warm up again.

How do I avoid potholes?

There’s no real secret way to completely avoiding potholes, you simply need to practice safer driving. Avoiding damage from potholes, however, is entirely possible. If you’re keeping your eyes on the road like you should be, then it’ll be easy to spot potholes before it’s too late. Simply slow down and go over it at a slower pace, much like you would for a railroad track or speed bump. If possible, you can of course change lanes to avoid it entirely. Two things to keep in mind to avoid major damage:

  1. Don’t abruptly slam on the brakes when you get to a pothole that you didn’t see ahead of time. This can cause more damage than just cruising over it.
  2. While driving through a pothole, whether you saw it and were able to slow down or not, keep a firm grip on the steering wheel. Losing your grip can cause your steering to veer off track on impact, sending you somewhere other than the direction you’re supposed to be driving.

How do I report potholes?

You can contact the South Carolina Department of Transportation to report a pothole. The easiest way to do this is to utilize their online maintenance work request form. Simply fill out that form and the pothole will be brought to the city’s attention. Of course, there’s no guarantee when or even if the pothole will get fixed, but this is the best way to bring attention to things.

Good luck out there and remember to give us a call if you end up with any damage caused by potholes.

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