Everybody’s talking about potholes.“I hate them and they’re getting worse,” said Clayton Benedict of Bellaire. “It’s probably the worst I’ve ever seen.” “They’re terrible,” said Dolly Meeker of Glen Robbins. “No matter where you go, you hit a pothole.”
“Potholes this year have been awful,” confirmed Chris Bucon of Paree Insurance in Elm Grove. “We’ve had a ton of calls and a ton of walk-ins, people hitting them, blowing out their tires, messing up their rims.”
Independent Insurance Agents of West Virginia give driving advice about potholes that might sound counter-intuitive. They said don’t swerve to miss a pothole.
“If you swerve, there is a risk of swerving into oncoming traffic and causing more damage than you would have by hitting a pothole,” says Gayle Seidler of Paree Insurance.
And they also advised against slamming on your brakes. “Slow down as much as you can before you hit the hole, but then take your foot off the brake,” she said.
And finally, they say, keep your tires at the exact pressure recommended in the manual. People have their own ways of dealing with potholes, and most adhere to the swerve-around-them school of thought. “I try to miss them all the time,” says Dolly Meeker. “It does ruin your car.”
“Well, yeah, I try to swerve around them,” agrees Clayton Benedict. “Because the insurance company is not going to buy my tires when they get ruined.”
There is something to what he said. If you turn it in to your insurance, they consider it a collision. Your deductible kicks in, and it shows up on your driving history. “It wound depend on how much damage there is,” says Seidler. “But if it’s close to what your deductible would be anyway, then yes, it would be better if you don’t tell your insurance company.”
Seidler’s son hit a pothole recently and bent a rim. She says the roads are terrible this year. But she said the three rules are worth following.
“Check your air pressure, don’t swerve and don’t slam on your brakes,” she says. “Those three things will minimize the damage as much as humanly possible.”