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Leaving Potholes Unfixed? Pothole Damage And Road Risks To Expect

car on a mud pothole | pothole damage

When there are potholes on your property, it is important to address them as soon as possible. This way, you can minimize the chances of pothole damage. But, what kind of damages can be expected from potholes in the first place?


Pothole Damage in the United States at Glance

Potholes are a source of frustration and costly repairs. In the United States alone, 1 in 10 drivers has experienced vehicle damage from potholes that are significant enough to require repairs. It costs about $600 on average to repair car damage from potholes. That means, in 2021, drivers spent a whopping $26.5 billion on these repairs.


Potholes are a safety hazard. They not only cause vehicle damage, but they can also impede the flow of traffic and life. In the United States, 450,000 school buses run for 180 days out of the year. On those school buses are 24 million children.


Ambulances also make 60 million trips per year. With an estimated 50,000 ambulances, that’s a lot of trips. In total, there are 240 million registered vehicles in the country. With countless potholes all across the nation, you can only imagine how inconvenient it is to travel or transport goods.


The Dangers of Potholes

Let’s face it – potholes are ugly. They can make any property look worn and poorly maintained. And customers are less likely to patronize a business that doesn’t take maintenance seriously.


Aside from appearance-related consequences, though, potholes pose real threats. When left unfixed, these pothole risks can quickly become a reality.


1. Tire Damage from Pothole

Tire damage may be the most common type of damage a vehicle can take from a pothole. Because tires are the first to come into contact with potholes, they take the brunt of the blow.


It’s possible not to notice signs of damage initially. But, the impact of the pothole can be enough to stretch out the belt and cords. This will significantly weaken the tires and even cause a blowout later on. Sometimes, immediate damage can occur, resulting in a flat tire. If you feel your tire softening or wobbling, it’s time to get it checked.


2. Wheel Damage

Pothole tire damage is not the only risk associated with potholes. Driving over potholes can also cause damage to the wheels. More often than not, cars have aluminum alloy-based wheels. And although these types of tires are durable, they can still sustain damage.


Driving over a pothole at high speed can bend the wheel. You might not see it at once, but it’s there. Some signs to watch out for include new vibrations in your steering wheel and changes in how your vehicle drives. If the damage is significant, you may need to replace the wheel/s altogether.


3. Suspension Pothole Damage

The suspension system can also suffer from damage when you drive over potholes at high speed. Your shocks and struts aid suspension. And while they can wear out over time, the impact of driving over potholes can lead to premature deterioration. 


How do you know if something’s wrong with your suspension system? The most obvious sign is bouncing. If your car bounces harder than it should when you drive over small bumps, your suspension may be the culprit. Immediate maintenance and repairs, though, can prevent further damage.


4. Alignment Issues

Another pothole car damage involves alignment. When you hit a pothole unexpectedly, it often comes with great force. This can throw off your car’s wheel alignment.


A good way to tell that your alignment is out of order is if your car starts to veer to one side, even when your steering wheel is set straight. This is not only dangerous but can cause additional damage when left unchecked.


5. Bumper Damage

Potholes, especially deeper ones, can cause bumper damage to vehicles. This happens when your car dips so low that its bumper comes into contact with the ground. The force of the impact is often enough to scuff or dent the bumper.


Even with shallow potholes, it is still possible to damage your bumper. This usually happens to low-standing vehicles with bumpers closer to the ground. While scratches and scuffs aren’t a cause for concern, more significant damage requires immediate attention.


6. Personal Harm or Injury

Some people can look past vehicle damage because they can afford repairs. Besides, vehicles are replaceable. Something that you can’t replace, though, is your well-being. 


A pothole is a road hazard and can hurt people. That might seem like a stretch, but it does happen. The driver and passengers can get hurt when you drive over a pothole. If the force is strong enough or the speed is fast enough, driving over a pothole can make passengers bump their heads on the car’s interior. Other body parts can also be injured.


7. Liability

So far, the pothole dangers listed here only talk about vehicle damage and personal injury. But, what about liability?


If your property has potholes that cause damage to cars or injury to people, you could find yourself in hot water. Drivers and passengers alike can sue you for the potholes you neglected to fix. Even pedestrians can trip over potholes and hurt themselves.


If nothing else, you should swiftly repair potholes to avoid earning a bad reputation. When you don’t take care of your property, people aren’t going to want to pay a visit. And, if word spreads around that your lack of maintenance has led to vehicle damage or personal injury, that will worsen it.


Keeping Risks at Bay

As you can see, pothole damage is a real threat to vehicles and people. Therefore, it is imperative to have any potholes repaired as soon as possible. When repairing potholes, though, remember to leave the job to professionals.


Pothole Repair Carolinas is at your service if your commercial or private property needs a pothole fixed. Call us today at 704-227-0468 or contact us online for expert pothole repair in North and South Carolina!