The onset of spring means only one thing for Canada’s roads: potholes. Some cities fill nearly 50,000 potholes every spring, but until then, your tires needn’t become the victim of these gaping holes in our roads.
How potholes are created
In the weeks leading up to warmer weather, the perfect conditions for potholes arise. Snow and rain that has seeped into the asphalt over the winter freezes, expands and buckles under the weight of vehicles. The asphalt chips, and chips and chips. When the sun comes out and melts the ice that caused the cracks, it reveals the full-blown dreaded pothole.
How to handle driving around potholes
Potholes don’t just make for a bumpy ride; they can cause serious damage to your vehicle if you don’t take precautions. Following these tips, however, will help you keep your tires and your shocks in good shape.
- Try to drive around potholes, but only if you’re able to safely change lanes in good time. If you pass the same pothole every morning, try to avoid that lane or side of the road without swerving and putting you and other drivers in danger. Plus, swerving and then hitting the pothole at an angle can actually damage your suspension more than just driving over a pothole head-on.
- Slow down. If you’ve come upon a pothole suddenly but you can’t change lanes, there’s no avoiding it. All you can do is minimize potential damage and keep yourself safe by slowing down.
- Avoid curb lanes and pools of water. Because of how roads drain, curb lanes are a popular site for potholes, as are deep puddles, which can hide potholes.
- Use mobile apps to avoid potholes and report them. Several Canadian cities now offer apps where drivers can find out where potholes are and avoid driving over them. Of course, you’ll want to look those up before you head out on the road. If you spot a pothole, be sure to report it to your municipality so they can send crews out to repair it.
How potholes can damage your vehicle
Pothole season takes the hardest toll on your tires. When you hit a pothole, your tires take the first hit, but the force carries on to your wheels, shocks and front-end components. Because many run-ins with potholes occur on the sidewall or face of your tire, which can’t be repaired, a bad pothole hit can mean the end of your tire’s life.
We’ve seen blown tires, wrecked shocks, bent wheels—all thanks to potholes. If you’ve hit a pothole, be sure to bring your vehicle in to a Kal Tire location near you so we can inspect it and make sure your vehicle is safe to drive.
Did you hit a pothole and now your vehicle is shaking? Check out our post Why Does My Front End Shimmy After Hitting a Bump?
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