Yikes! It’s Pothole Season!
What you Can Do About Potholes
It happens every spring. The winter fades, giving way to the warmer and nicer weather of spring. The weather, however, is precisely why our roads are riddled with potholes this time of year. Unless there is some major advancement in the way asphalt is made, it’s a common occurrence that isn’t likely to change soon.
You have a choice though. On the one hand, you can complain about life, and how unfair it is that you pay all these taxes and the roads don’t get fixed immediately. Or you can take things in stride, understand that life isn’t fair, and learn how to manage when the roads aren’t going to be perfect. We recommend the latter, and as your choice for collision repair in Billings, Montana, we are offering you some tips on how you can avoid those holes in the road.
The Quick Version on How Potholes Form
Asphalt is made of rock (more or less). Rock is brittle and can be broken. Over time, as vehicles use a road it develops cracks, chips, and otherwise wears out a little bit. This is fine, and roads can actually last a long time if that’s all that happened.
This time of year, however, we get warm days and cold nights. During the day, snow melts and rain falls. That moisture finds its way into the cracks in the pavement. As the temperature falls in the night, the water freezes, cracking the pavement further.
The next morning, vehicles run over the newly cracked pavement, and break the asphalt out of there. Chunks fly out, making the hole bigger and bigger. Soon, you have a large pothole on your hands!
How You Can Avoid Damage to Your Vehicle
Slamming into a big pothole can cause some serious damage to your vehicle. It can cause tires to blow, rims to bend, alignment to get off, and if it’s especially bad, you can suffer some body damage from the parts flying around. It’s important to avoid these things!
Most cities around the country have Facebook pages that are designed to warn others about road hazards, driving hazards, and the like. It’s recommended that you keep an eye on these groups for up-to-date info on where the potholes are.
When you are driving, make sure you’re looking far enough ahead. The 12 second rule can come in handy here.
When you can’t see that far ahead, perhaps due to a lot of traffic, be aware of your surroundings. Is the lane next to you open? Is there a large curb on the other side? Seeing a pothole last minute, and knowing your surroundings can mean the difference between swerving safely, and having to choose between side-swiping another vehicle, or hitting the hole.
What Happens if You do Damage Your Rig?
In Billings, it’s the city’s job to maintain the roads. If the road is not maintained, and you damage your vehicle because of it, you can file a claim with the city. It’s a long process, but you can get reimbursed.
After you hit the hole, safely pull over or into a parking lot. Document the damage, the pothole, the time of day, etc. The more you document, the easier it will be to claim reimbursement.
Next, you have to fix the damage yourself. Or at least out of your own pocket. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a new tire, sometimes it’s more and you need a whole new rim, alignment, tire, etc.
Using the city’s guidelines, you submit the claim so your expenses can be repaid to you. Keep in mind many of these claims are denied, and the process can be long.
Big Sky Collision Center does Auto Body Repair in Billings
Here at Big Sky Collision Center, our goal is that you stay safe on the roads. We help to ensure that by providing the best auto body repairs in Billings. We have more certifications than any other shop around, and every one of our technicians is trained in leadership abilities. The result is your vehicle is restored to full factory safety specifications.
Need to get the process started? Give us a call at 406-259-6328.