Thanks to last spring’s flooding and this year’s unusually brutal winter, there just may be more potholes than ever before on Calgary’s roads. Potholes can cause significant damage to your vehicle’s wheels and undercarriage, and it can be difficult to get your insurance company to cover these costs. Your best bet is to avoid potholes altogether.
Auto Insurance Calgary: Where Do Potholes Come From?
Calgary’s pothole problem has been well-documented, but where do all these pits in the road come from?
In most cases, it’s not poor road maintenance, but the force of nature that’s to blame. When snow, rain and ice reach the layer of soil underneath the road surface and temperatures drop, they freeze solid, which then pushes the pavement upward. As temperatures warm, the layer of ice melts the road sinks back down. Over time, this process eventually causes holes to form in the pavement.
Sometimes, potholes can also be caused by high volumes of vehicular traffic passing over a weakened section of roadway. That’s why potholes happen in all climates, not just those that see sub-zero temperatures during the winter.
The City of Calgary regularly inspects roads for signs of potholes, and makes every effort to fix them promptly. However, if you spot a pothole, you can report it by dialing 311 from your mobile phone or land line.
Auto Insurance Calgary: How to Avoid Potholes
Because it is virtually impossible to prove that vehicle damage was caused by a pothole, insurance companies will rarely honour such claims. The best thing you can do is avoid potholes altogether.
Here are some helpful tips that will help you steer clear of these damaging gaps in the pavement:
- Reduce your speed. This is especially important on heavily travelled roads, and roads with aging pavement. You’ll mitigate any potential pothole damage by passing over it more slowly, and you’ll be in a better position to effectively maneuver around one if you’re travelling at a reduced rate of speed.
- Watch out for water. When it’s raining and potholes are filled with water, they can be especially difficult to see. Rainwater can also make large potholes appear small, and deep potholes appear shallow. Again, travelling at a slower speed is your best bet.
- Stay in the centre of your lane. Most potholes form in the middle or near the edges of the road. You’re less likely to encounter one if you stay well-positioned in the centre of your lane and avoid getting too close to the centre line or the shoulder.
- Avoid braking on a pothole. You can worsen the damage to your vehicle if you hit the brakes when passing over a pothole. If you happen to hit one despite your best efforts, maintain an even speed.
- Keep a firm grasp on your steering wheel. Striking a pothole can destabilize your vehicle, and if you don’t have a solid grasp of the steering wheel, you might lose control of your car.
- Maintain your tires and headlights. Keeping your tires properly inflated will reduce the impact of pothole damage, and well-maintained and clean headlights will help you spot them when you’re driving at night.
Also, remember that you need to be extra careful if you’re on two wheels, as potholes can be extremely dangerous and even deadly to motorcyclists. If you ride a motorcycle, maintain high levels of caution at all times and before you head out on the road, be sure to brush up on your springtime motorcycle safety tips.
Auto Insurance Calgary: In Search of a Better Provider?
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Be sure to visit Lane’s Insurance online to get a fast, free, no-obligation quote for your Calgary auto insurance.