As if there isn’t already enough to despise about driving in the winter time—between nearly invisible patches of ice, blinding drifts of snow, and the sudden seeming cognitive failure of every other driver on the road—there’s the ever-increasing threat of potholes.
So, just what are potholes, and why are they more prevalent in the winter? Potholes are formed when water soaks into the asphalt through cracks and breaks in the surface. Over time, water erodes the surface layer as cars drive over it.
When that water is given a chance to freeze, it expands beneath the surface and takes up more space, further weakening the asphalt. When that water melts, it leaves a space that is susceptible to collapsing when driven over. If this happens repeatedly during the course of the winter, the material is more likely to break into chunks and create a large hole. Thus, you have a pothole.
So what do you do when you see a pothole on the road ahead? If you can get out of the way, do so. Always make sure you are aware of your surroundings before making any sudden moves.
What if you can’t get out of the way? The trick to reducing the impact of hitting a pothole is reducing your speed without braking too suddenly. Braking too much can actually cause greater damage than if you just decrease your speed and hit the hole with less momentum.
With winter weather on the way, potholes will be out there. Though they may not always be avoidable, you can take steps to ensure that you don’t wind up on the side of the road.
If you hit a pothole and want a fair assessment and an easy fix for any problems you’ve incurred, stop out and see our service team at Carl Hogan Automotive.