When you combine relentless freeze-thaw cycles, the seasonal gifts from Mother Nature are an endless number of potholes, large and small, on roadways. Fluctuation changes in temperatures 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.
Why Are They Called “Potholes”?
A popular “urban legends” states that they’re called potholes because of potters who dug up chunks from the Roman Empire’s smooth clay roadways more than 3,000 years ago. The clay became pots so the divots were referred to as “pot holes.” It’s also possible they’re called “potholes” simply because potholes are holes in the roadway in the shape of a stockpot. Another theory is that in Middle English, a pot was a geological term meaning a deep pit in the earth. Apparently, the words “pot” and “hole” were not used together until 1909.
Navigating Through Potholed-Roadways
When you see a pothole in the road, 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 is 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.
Share Your Pothole Pics With Us To Win!
If you have a pothole that defies belief, or there’s one that you’ve encountered one too many times on your daily commute, snap a pic and share it on social media (Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram) and hashtag it #FAPotholeContest. Include the location, and be sure to make the post public so we can find it. On Friday, March 22, 2019, at 12 noon EDT, we’ll pick our favorite and send the winner a copy of the 2019 Farmers’ Almanac and another special prize from our online store!
In the meantime, you may want to call your local public works department to report those potholes. Others will thank you.