Potholes: Expert says speed, distance and strategy ensures smooth ride

It's important to have a course of action ready if you want to avoid potholes and damage to your vehicle.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Pesky potholes are plentiful and particularly problematic for drivers. What does that mean? It means the roads are bumpy, and everybody is angry about it.

You want to avoid hitting potholes, but there’s just not enough room on the roads. It’s important to have a course of action ready and that includes realizing speed limits are set for driving in ideal conditions.

WYTV rode along with driving instructor Greg Anderson with All Star Driving School. Anderson’s been teaching students how to drive for over 25 years and said even with the potholes, the ride should be somewhat smooth.

“If they are hitting potholes and jumping around, they did something wrong,” Anderson said. “You have been driving with me for 15 to 20 minutes and we haven’t bumped anything.”

Anderson said having a good plan is important for a safe ride. He said you should drive like the road is full of potholes and you need to get through them without damaging your car.

“I mean they’re deep and they are bad, and they are actually dangerous,” Anderson said. “Strategizing what you are going to do and having the space to see and do what you need to do. Space gives you time.”

A pothole can knock your car out of its lane and even out of control. Anderson believes most potholes are on the right. You can either straddle them or when oncoming traffic allows, drive around them near the center. He recommends three things for you and your car to survive the pothole season:

  • Speed control
  • Distance behind the car in front of you
  • Strategize a way to get around the pothole

If you have to smash into a pothole, Anderson suggests braking and releasing it right before you hit it, so you’re letting the weight off the front tire. New drivers take a while to learn this. Anderson’s driving school has had three flat tires on the same car in the last month.