Most Drivers Use the Wrong Techniques with Potholes

Published on March 29, 2019 in Tips & Advice: Protect your car by Guillaume Rivard

Are you tired of driving through craters every time winter gives way to spring? The experience can be pretty unsettling, if not terrifying, and damages can prove to be costly.

Allstate Insurance of Canada recently polled Quebec drivers and found that 78 percent use the wrong techniques when approaching potholes.

As a result, almost half (47 percent) of Quebecers say their car has been damaged by driving over a pothole. For more than half of them (53 percent), the repairs ranged from $101 to $500.

“I’m not surprised to see the results of the survey. It just shows how important it is for drivers to learn how to share the road with potholes,’’ says Jean-Denis Quenneville, Vice President at the Quebec Association of Mechanics & Tire Specialists.

Photo: istock

The Right Way to Approach Potholes

Nearly four out of five drivers allow potholes to catch them off-guard and swerve to avoid an impact, which can be potentially dangerous at highways speeds. You not only risk damaging your wheels and suspension components badly if the pothole is inevitable, but you might also strike another vehicle in the process, which could have even more serious consequences.

According to François Mercure, agency director at Allstate of Canada-Boucherville, the first and most important thing you must do is to maintain a greater distance with the vehicle in front of you so as to give yourself the time to anticipate potholes and react safely.

Also, don’t make the mistake of slamming on the brakes while going over a pothole, which puts more weight on the front wheels. The tires, wheels, alignment, and suspension may take on more impact, plus you risk getting rear-ended by another driver. Simply take your foot off the gas to slow down.

Finally, Allstate of Canada says you should always keep both hands on the steering wheel so you don’t lose control of the vehicle. Make sure your tires are properly inflated to limit damage, and do other road users a favour by reporting potholes to your local municipal services or Transports Quebec.

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