How to Prevent Pothole Damage to Your Car

Posted by Kenneth Auerbach on Wed, Jun 11, 2014

Watch That Pothole

If you’ve driven in New Jersey after our harsh winter, chances are that you’ve encountered a pothole…or many. You’re not alone. Here are some tips to help you safely avoid damage to your car from potholes and information about filing a claim if damage is unavoidable: 



Avoid the Pothole: If there are no vehicles in adjacent lanes, the preferred action is to safely maneuver around the pothole. This also applies to puddles that may be hiding potholes beneath the surface of the water.



Practice Proper Spacing: Leaving extra space behind the vehicle in front will allow time to identify and avoid potholes. In general, slower speeds are advisable in known pothole areas.



Keep Tires Properly Inflated: Too little air pressure will allow the tire to bottom out quickly onto the rim, which will cause a rigid impact to the front suspension system and increase the possibility of damage. Too much air pressure will result in a rigid impact, as the tire is much harder when overinflated.



Take It Slow at Night: Potholes can be more difficult to spot and avoid at night. Reduce speed, especially on unfamiliar roads, to allow time to spot and react to potholes that aren’t visible until spotted by your headlights. Keep in mind that where there’s one pothole, there’s likely more.



Don’t Brake Hard: If a collision with a pothole is unavoidable, slamming on the brakes can increase downforce and the possibility of damage. A gradual reduction in speed is preferable. Keeping two hands on the wheel throughout impact is important to maintain control.



Check the Vehicle after Impact: A professional inspection can identify issues that could present safety issues in the future. Potholes should also be reported to the local municipality.


Filing a Claim:




Through E&K: If you have collision coverage on your car insurance policy through E&K, please call us as soon as possible at 732-389-6000.



Through New Jersey: If your car was damaged by a pothole on a state road, you have 90 days to seek reimbursement from the New Jersey Department of the Treasury by submitting their claim form available at





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