“Oh no, your tire’s flat”. Do you remember that cute Geico commercial that aired a few years ago, with the cute pot hole that was very concerned about the damage it had done to an unsuspecting car? Why would an insurance company advertise about potholes? Because it’s considered a collision. With temperature swings from near zero to the high 40s, potholes are inevitable. Hitting a pothole with your car is nearly unavoidable. Potholes are a severe event for your car and if you happen to hit one, follow these steps to document the damage, care for your car, and to get reimbursement.
Immediately after hitting the pothole:
- Treat a pothole like an accident, pull off to safety and if possible take a picture of the location and the pothole itself.
- Visually inspect your car, tires, and rims.
- Call the non-emergency police number to document the incident and damages. (This will help support your claim later)
- Based on location, determine if the road falls under county or local jurisdiction.
- If necessary, call a tow truck to avoid further damage to your car. If your vehicle does not appear to be damaged, proceed to the next step.
Leaving the scene of the pothole
- Pay close attention to your car and how it’s handling.
- If your steering seems off-center after you hit a pothole, your wheel alignment needs to be checked, or it may be an indication of damage to a steering or suspension component.
- If you notice the steering wheel shaking, this is a sign of a wheel balance problem or damage to either the tire or rim.
- Does the car pull to one side? This is another indication of an alignment problem, but it could also indicate component damage.
- Does the car ride rough and not handle on the road the way it used to? This may be an indication of damage to the springs, shocks or struts.
If you hit a pothole or notice any of the above symptoms, a complete bumper to bumper Pothole Recovery Service inspection by the trained auto professionals at Osceola Garage will reveal any pothole-related issues. 90% of cars will need an alignment after the winter season, and the longer the car drives out of alignment, the more damage risk to your car.
Seeking reimbursement for the damages caused by a pothole? You have several options; you can contact your insurance company and decide if your copay or deductible, versus the cost of repairs, make financial sense. Or you can get submit documentation to have your county and state to pay for the damages. Read more about having Putnam County, NY pay for pothole related damages here.
Winter is almost over, but the damaged roads are going to linger for a while longer. Stay alert when driving and try to avoid roads that are notoriously hazardous, if possible.