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Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys

How to Drive Safely Around Potholes in the Kansas City Area

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We’ve all seen them, and most of us have had an unpleasant run-in or two with them. Potholes are a common sight in and around Kansas City Pothole in the Middle of the Roadfollowing a long, frigid winter. As winter weather forces asphalt to expand and contract, it cracks and disintegrates into potholes. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), potholes cost drivers more than $3 billion in damages each year. Not only does hitting one of these craters damage your car, it can cause an accident that endangers others on the road. Learn how to drive safely around these hazards to keep your car and your passengers safe from harm.

Tips From American Trucking Associations

As part of their Share the Road initiative, American Trucking Associations (ATA) share tips with motorists on how to drive safely around semi-trucks and road hazards. No one sees more accidents and near-misses than professional truck drivers, who populate our nation’s roads by the thousands every day. They have learned a thing or two about avoiding potholes and offer these tips to keep you and your family safe this summer:

  • Slow down. If you are unable to avoid a pothole, it’s best to go over it slowly. Do not veer into other driving lanes to avoid potholes. Reducing your speed can prevent damage to your car and keep the pothole from expanding.

  • Buckle up. Safety belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45% and are a simple way to increase your safety on the road. If traveling with children, make sure they are properly secured in age-appropriate car seats and harnesses.

  • Properly secure every item in your vehicle. Secure loose objects in the car and do not place anything on your lap or near the driver’s side floor. A pothole can cause improperly secured items to slide under the brake pedal and prevent you from stopping.

  • Be aware of the vehicle in front of you. Leave extra room between you and the vehicle in front so you can see the potholes ahead of him and avoid asphalt from a pothole he hits kicking up into your windshield.

  • Be aware of truck blind spots. When sharing the road with large trucks, be aware of their blind spots. If you can't see the truck driver in his or her mirrors, then the truck driver can't see you. Keep in mind that trucks will do their best to safely avoid potholes.

  • Keep your eyes on the road. Distracted driving is a major cause of traffic accidents, and can keep you from avoiding potholes in your path. Two seconds of distracted driving creates unsafe conditions. Use your cell phone when stopped and never text while driving.

  • Report potholes. Many cities and states have pothole reporting hotlines. One phone call could help create safer conditions for fellow motorists.

The ATA lobbies lawmakers at every level to approve road improvement funding to make the roads safer for their truckers as well as other motorists. AAA is also concerned about the dangers caused by hazardous potholes and offers these additional safety tips:

  • Inspect tires. The tire is the most important cushion between a car and a pothole. Make sure tires have enough tread and are properly inflated.

  • Inspect suspension. Make certain struts and shock absorbers are in good condition. Changes in vehicle handling, excessive vibration, or uneven tire wear can indicate bad shocks or struts.

  • Look ahead. Make a point of checking the road ahead for potholes. An alert driver may have time to avoid potholes, so it’s important to stay focused on the road and not any distractions inside or outside the vehicle. Before swerving to avoid a pothole, check surrounding traffic to ensure this will not cause a collision or endanger nearby pedestrians or cyclists.

  • Beware of puddles. A puddle of water can disguise a deep pothole. Use care when driving through puddles and treat them as though they may be hiding potholes.

  • Check alignment. Hitting a pothole can knock a car’s wheels out of alignment and affect the steering. If a vehicle pulls to the left of right, have the wheel alignment checked by a qualified technician.

  • Recognize noises and vibrations. A hard pothole impact can dislodge wheel weights, damage a tire or wheel, and bend or even break suspension components. Any new or unusual noises or vibrations that appear after hitting a pothole should be inspected immediately by a certified technician.

Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys Looks Out for Our Clients and Neighbors

We are happy to offer these safety tips to our clients and neighbors in the Kansas City area. We see far too many examples of the results of unsafe driving, and hope these tips help you have a safe and happy summer.

 

James Roswold
James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.
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