11 Mar Potholes: a motorist’s nightmare
If like most Quebecers you can’t wait for spring to arrive, you are probably less so about our beautiful pothole riddled roads. It’s inevitable, every spring it seems that our roads “grow” potholes.
Potholes damage vehicles
Here is a list of what may happen if you hit a pothole with your vehicle:
- Flat tire
- Suspension damage
- Twisted rim
- Vehicle misalignment
Repairs can cost hundreds of dollars and even exceed $1,000.
Driving tips for dealing with potholes
Our first instinct is to brake when we hit a pothole; however, we recommend that you slow down and release the brakes a few meters before the wheel meets the pothole.
“When you brake, a mass transfer takes place towards the front of the vehicle, which increases the stresses on the front wheels. Releasing the brake before a pothole reduces the risk of breakage and flat tire”, explains Jesse Caron, CAA-Quebec automotive expert.
Prevention tips to minimize damage
Always make sure that the tire pressure is adequate, by performing monthly checks.
- An improperly inflated tire entering a pothole may be crushed between the asphalt and the rim, increasing the risk of flat tire and breakage of the rim.
- Conversely, an over-inflated tire will not be able to absorb part of the impact. “It is then the suspension or the steering which could suffer from the shock”, adds Jesse Caron.
If, after going through a pothole, you find that the driving is different, it is important to have your vehicle checked because it is possible that the balancing of the tires or the alignment of the running gear may have to be redone.
Regarding the recourses you can make in the event of a breakdown, it is always possible to make a claim for compensation, but this is a complex procedure since you will have to prove that the authority responsible for maintaining the road (provincial government, Ministère du transport, municipality) committed a fault or negligence.
Considering this, it may be easier to keep an eye open and, ultimately, to modify your drive choosing roads with fewer potholes.