Potholes, potholes and more potholes!
Our 'freeze / thaw' cycles are brutal on our roads.
Tuesday, March 03, 2020
It happens every spring...
Are you prepared for dodging all those craters on our roads? With the freeze and thaw stages of our Alberta winters, our roads take quite a beating. When the snow and ice melt, the water gets into the cracks and crevices in the road. Then, at night, when the temperatures drop, it freezes and expands pushing up on the pavement. As traffic drives over these weak spots, they get worse and expand in size until they could possibly swallow a tire... or a car! If your vehicle hits them, you risk damaging it or causing an accident. Flat tires, bent rims, suspension or steering damage are quite common but they can also knock your car out of alignment and cause tires to wear unevenly.
Always look ahead while driving. Hopefully, you can avoid hitting them in the first place.
Some things you can do to help avoid them or soften the blow are:
- Inflate your tires. Low tire pressure can cause bulges or blisters on the sidewalls of the tires and even dent the wheel.
- Don't tailgate. Stay well back of the vehicle in front of you. This will allow you to see potholes in plenty of time to avoid them. It will also reduce the chances of stones and debris flying up and hitting your vehicle.
- Stay focused on driving. Being distracted can make you miss seeing or reacting to potholes.
- Try not to swerve violently to miss a pothole. Before you make an evasive maneuver, check the traffic around you. Use your mirrors and consider whether to straddle the hole or go around it.
- Slow down. If the road is unusually rough, you'll have a much better chance of avoiding any potholes. Higher speeds reduce reaction time and control.
- Be careful with water filled potholes. This can mask how deep the hole is or what may be lurking under the water. It is best not to drive through a water filled pothole.
- If a pothole can't be avoided, keep your steering wheel straight. Allow the tire to roll through the pothole. Going full speed or slamming on the brakes, can cause major damage.
Worst case scenario... if you have recently hit a pothole and heard the scary THUMP, it's time to see a certified technician to inspect your suspension, undercarriage and tires for damage.
Give E & R Auto Clinic a call at 780-955-1991 and we can look it over.
As we look forward to spring weather, watch out for these road hazards and drive safe.
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