Beware — The dreaded pothole season is about to begin

(February 24, 2015) NORTHBROOK, Ill. — Pothole season is officially underway, which means drivers are navigating roads filled with hazards. But a few tips from Allstate may help drivers avoid flats, crashes, and enjoy a much smoother ride.

Here's what you can do to avoid pothole damage to your car:

    •Make sure your tires are properly inflated.

    • Leave ple
nty of room in front of your vehicle so you have time to safely swerve to avoid potholes and crashes.

    • If you cannot avoid hitting a pothole, slow down instead of braking as you approach a pothole. Braking actually causes more damage in a pothole situation.

    • When driving over a pothole, hold the steering wheel firmly to maintain control of your vehicle.

    • Use caution and drive slowly when driving over a puddle or through the snow, which may be hiding deep potholes.

"As soon as the current frigid temperatures give way to warmer weather, our roads will become pitted with potholes damaging our cars and even causing crashes," said Pam Dufour, president of Allstate Roadside Services. "A properly inflated tire is your best defense against potholes. With a little caution and proper vehicle maintenance, drivers can keep their cars in good condition this pothole season."

If you do experience pothole damage to your vehicle, contact your insurance agent to determine if you are covered under your current policy. Most damage or crashes caused by driving over potholes are covered under traditional collision insurance.

Many U.S. cities also offer reimbursement for pothole-related damage, so drivers should check with their local governments to determine if their cities offer coverage. Drivers should also alert their local government to dangerous potholes, so they can be fixed.