When you combine relentless extremes of cold and heat, the seasonal gifts from Mother Nature are an endless number of potholes, large and small, on roadways. While overall we called for a cold winter, we did mention there would be bouts of mild weather, rain, or wintry mixes throughout January. In Maine we have gone from -9 to 44 degrees in one day, and those temperature fluctuations do a number on asphalt, resulting in a nightmare for your vehicle. According to AAA, pothole damage has cost U.S. drivers $15 billion in vehicle repairs over the last five years, or approximately $3 billion annually.
When you see a pothole on the roadway, and can’t avoid it, what do you do? There are two “theories”: Either speed up, and hope to fly over it, or jam on your brakes and crawl through it.
The real answer in somewhere in between. The best thing is to slow down before the hole, then release your brakes as you go into it. This helps reduce the speed at impact as well as giving your suspension the full range of travel to absorb the hit. Straighten your wheel to hit it squarely, and roll through. Hitting a large pothole at an angle can do major damage to your car, including bending an axle (alignment), dents in rims, badly worn tires, and flats. We see it happening all around the state.
It’s relatively early for potholes but if you have one that your proud of, share it with us on our Facebook or Instagram pages. For those extra-large dangerous ones, you may want to call your local public works department to report them. Others will thank you.