Linxup Blog

How To Limit Pothole Damage & Keep Your Vehicles On the Road

By Paul Liggett Back to Home on March 20, 2017
Pothole Damage

Drivers, rejoice! Spring is nearly here. But when the snow (finally) stops falling and the temperature begins to rise, there's a new hazard to keep your eyes open for: potholes.

Potholes form when moisture collects in the small holes and cracks in the road surface. When this moisture freezes in cold temperatures, it expands; when it thaws, it contracts. This process of expansion and contraction weakens the road surface and leads to breakage that, when combined with the weight of passing cars, can lead to potholes.

Pothole damage is common in the late winter and early spring. According to a recent AAA study, pothole damage costs drivers $3 billion yearly, and fleet drivers are no exception. The most common repair for pothole damage is wheel replacement, but damage can extend beyond the wheel to the undercarriage as well, adding additional expenses and costly downtime while the damage is fixed.

Preventing pothole damage

Here are two effective tactics for avoiding potholes and limiting the damage they can cause to your vehicles:

1. Coach your drivers to avoid potholes

The best way to limit pothole damage is to avoid potholes altogether. There are a number of things your drivers can do to avoid hitting potholes, such as:

  • Keeping some distance from the vehicle in front so you can spot potholes before it's too late.
  • Looking ahead for potholes so you can safely navigate around them without unexpectedly swerving.
  • Being cautious of puddles, which can hide deep potholes.

If you or your drivers can't avoid a pothole, the best thing to do is slow down safely. Hitting a pothole at higher speeds increases the risk of damage.

2. Keep your vehicles in top condition

Properly maintaining your vehicles can lessen the likelihood that they will sustain serious pothole damage.

The most important thing you can do to lessen the impact of potholes is to ensure your tires are properly inflated and have good tread. Under-inflated or worn tires are more likely to be damaged or allow the wheel or suspension to be damaged if you hit a pothole.

Fixing Pothole

You should also check your suspension to make sure your struts and shock absorbers are in good condition. If you notice changes in handling or increased vibration, you may have damaged or worn components.

Linxup GPS tracking devices can help you keep your vehicles in top condition by automating routine maintenance such as tire checks and inspections. Learn more about tracking your vehicle maintenance using Linxup GPS devices.

What to do if you drive over a pothole

Sometimes, potholes are unavoidable. Here's what you should do if you or one of your drivers do drive over one:

  • Stop and inspect your vehicle at the next safest opportunity. Look for obvious visible damage to your tires, wheels, and body.
  • Keep your ears open for new noises or vibrations. If you hear anything new, have your vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible.
  • Pay attention to steering changes. Potholes can knock your wheels out of alignment, so if you notice your vehicle pulling to one side, consult your mechanic.

Managing pothole damage

Spring is just around the corner, and potholes could be too. Fleet and business managers can make sure that their business doesn't lose time and money while they repair pothole damage by coaching drivers on how to avoid potholes and limit the damage they can cause.

Learn more about how GPS tracking can save you time and money.