Potholes normally make their appearance in the Spring. With Massachusetts weather changing dramatically from subzero temperatures to above freezing temperatures lately, they are making their appearance much earlier than expected. Here are some helpful tips on dealing with potholes.
Obviously, the best thing to do is to try and avoid potholes as they can cause some major damage to your car. First and foremost, stay alert when driving and be aware of road conditions. The fewer distractions that you have, the more likely you will see and be able to avoid potholes. Secondly, avoid puddles in the road when driving in the rain. Puddles often hide dangerous potholes. Thirdly, drive slower on roads prone to potholes. Slower speeds will cause less damage to your tires and car. Lastly, if you do come across a pothole and cannot avoid it, brake before the pothole and not on it. This too will reduce the chances of major damage to your vehicle.
Vehicle Damage from Potholes
If your vehicle is damaged due to a pothole, your options for compensation depend on where the pothole was located. In general, if you were driving on a state road, you will not be able to obtain compensation for damages. Some cities and towns do provide compensation; contact the city or town for more information. Whether on a state or local road, if your vehicle was damaged in a construction zone, you can file a claim against the insurance company of the particular contractor working on that site.
Advice for Filing Claims
It is important that you have good documentation on damages to your vehicle. Be sure to take pictures of the pothole and the street where the damage occurred. Also take pictures of your vehicle. If your vehicle sustained major damage, you may also call the police to the scene and request that they file a police report on the incident. The more supporting documentation that you have, the better chances that your claim will be approved.
Summary of Tips on Dealing with Potholes
In summary, take precautions to avoid potholes to begin with. This includes slowing your speed, remaining alert while driving, and avoiding puddles on rainy days. If you cannot avoid a pothole, step on your brakes before the pothole rather than when you are already over it. If your vehicle is damaged in a construction zone or local road, look into whether you can file a claim for your damages. Take photos of the road and damages to properly document the situation. Potholes will continue to worsen as the Spring approaches, so stay aware of road conditions no matter when or where you drive!