Pothole DamagesIf you drive your car with any regularity, you have encountered potholes on the road, especially during the winter months where snow, ice and wet weather are prevalent.  Potholes are caused by the streets freezing, thawing, and eventually cracking, which allows water to seep under the crack.  Hitting one of these potholes can be very damaging to your vehicle and you may find yourself at an auto repair shop to repair the damages. While you can’t prevent potholes in the road, you can find ways to avoid pothole damages to your car

Common Types of Damages Caused by Potholes

Following a snowstorm that covered the roads, you get into your car to drive to the store.  Before you realize it, you hit a large pothole which causes your tire to go flat. This, among other things, can damage your car, such as:

Front end Alignment- If you hit the pothole at just the right angle, it can cause your car to be out of alignment.  You may notice your car pulling to the left or right which means you could need a repair to a bent steering or suspension in your alignment.  This needs to be checked right away because driving your car out of alignment can wear your tires unevenly.

Wheels- In some instances, pothole damages can actually bend or crack your wheel rim and may need to be replaced.

Tires- Hitting a pothole can puncture your tire, causing it to go flat or slowly leak air.  If you notice reduced tire pressure on your dash, you will need to go directly to a tire store to see if the hole can be patched or repaired.  In some instances, it can’t, at which point you will need to buy a new tire.

Ways You Can Avoid Pothole Damages to Your Car

During the winter months, potholes are inevitable on the roadways; however, there are some guidelines you can follow to avoid potholes and damages to your car:

  • Reduce your speed- If you are travelling at a fast pace down the road, potholes can sneak up on you and then it’s too late. Not only have you hit it, but you did so at a rather fast speed which can cause greater damage.
  • Pay attention to the roadways- When driving, pay attention to the roadways and look for any obvious potholes, so when approaching them you can strategically go around.
  • Don’t follow cars too closely- When traveling, always stay a safe distance behind the car in front of you. Otherwise, you will not have clear vision of what lies ahead in the road.
  • Avoid puddles- If you see puddles in the road, go around (if possible) as it could be a pothole filled with water. If you can’t avoid it, then reduce your speed and go over it slowly.
  • Utilize a navigation app that warns of potholes– This is a new feature available on some apps such as Waze.

Should You File an Auto Claim?

Even by taking preemptive measures to avoid potholes in the road, running over them can still happen.  So, when it does and your car gets damaged, what next?  Should you file a claim?

Before you consider filing an auto insurance claim, you need to know a few things.  First of all, your N.C. auto insurance policy may very well cover damages to your vehicle caused by potholes; however, it will probably be classified as a “single vehicle” accident with the fault being place upon you.  Having this on your record could cause your auto insurance rates to rise. 

Next, you will need to get an estimate(s) to repair the auto damages and take a look at your deductible.  If your deductible is higher than the repair cost, then you will be responsible for that regardless, so you will not benefit at all by filing a claim.  At that point, it is recommended you pay for the damages to your car out of pocket.

If you have concerns or questions regarding damages caused by potholes, contact us at Paramount Insurance Agency so we can assist you with weighing your options on whether to file a claim or not.  We are here for all your N.C auto insurance needs so don’t wait.  Call TODAY at 866-869-3335.