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Potholes are not only a nuisance, they can also cause considerable damage to your car and even pose a vehicle collision risk due to wildly evading them. These annoying potholes are typically caused by water (usually rainwater) which seeps through asphalt cracks and then expands causing the crack to turn into a weakened depression which over time shatters and exposes a hole in the road. Areas along the coast are most noted for poor road conditions due to the consistent rain that occurs.
Arizona, although extremely dry, is not immune to potholes but they do tend to take longer to appear then other wetter areas of the United States. Most notably, older areas in Phoenix and Mesa tend to have the worst road conditions and it's simply to due to age with yearly rain exposure. It can be quite difficult navigating potholes in some of these areas and drivers are cautioned to stay alert and make sure they're following the speed limit and have ample room in between their vehicle and the one in front and in back of them as well.
Simple Tips to Help Drivers with AZ Potholes:
  1. Don't speed! Speeding causes you to have to react quicker to avoid a pothole and thus putting yourself and other drivers at a higher risk of collision. Additionally, a car moving faster that hits a pothole will have a higher impact and thus can sustain more damage to the tire, wheel and even other components of the vehicle.
  2. Keep your tires properly inflated. Having too little or too much air in your tires can cause wheel damage or a blown tire if the vehicle engages a deep or sharp pothole. Take the few minutes needed every 2-3 months to check each of your tires gauges and ensure they meet the standard requirements that are displayed on the sidewall of the tire.
  3. Replace your tires when they are worn. Even a relatively worn tire can increase your chances of a flat when engaging potholes. Worn and balding tires have less rubber encasing and also stress wear, thus creating a higher likelihood of damage when running over a pothole. new tires with significant tread and rubber thickness will help to protect your wheel as well as the tire when rolling over these road impediments.
  4. Puddles hide potholes! It's a common fact that puddles can disguise a pothole and you should always be on the lookout for these. Puddles are formed in potholes because of the depression that it causes. Some drivers may not bother to consider avoiding puddles until they are rudely startled by the pothole underneath! Keep to roads you are familiar with and be on the lookout for these disguised road dangers.
  5. Do not slam on your brakes! If you see a pothole at the last minute, it's typically better to only brake lightly as slamming your brakes can compress your vehicle's front and reduce the air cushion in your tires that impacts the pothole. This potentially can cause a tire blowout and wheel or rim damage. Keep your eyes always on the road, driving defensively in an effort to be aware of road issues that lie ahead.
NOTE: If you would like to make aware a poor road condition to the state of Arizona, please go to: https://www.phoenix.gov/streets/neighborhood-matters/maintenance-requests/report-problem