Texas Living

How to Avoid Potholes on Texas Roadways

By Staci Parks 9.17.20

Potholes on Texas roads are as prominent as Buc-ee’s billboards. But, unlike a Buc-ee’s stop, potholes can leave a sour taste in a driver’s mouth. On average, each Texan driver spends about $682 a year in costs from driving on roads in need of repair, according to a 2016 report by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

How to Prep for Potholes

Potholes are an inevitable part of driving in Texas. But protecting your vehicle against them starts before you get behind the wheel. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Tire check. Make sure your tires are properly inflated based on recommendations in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Poorly inflated tires are more easily punctured, while overinflated tires can reduce traction and interfere with handling.
  • Slow down; space out. Driving at a slower speed will allow you to see a pothole in advance. Giving the vehicle in front of you some space will allow you to avoid an accident should they come across a pothole.
  • Prep for puddles. Much like flooded areas, you never know just how deep a pothole will go. Don’t risk it.
  • Fight the urge to swerve. You could travel into another lane, putting other drivers at risk, or you could find yourself completely off the roadway, depending on where you are. (Here are some roadside safety tips.)

What to Do If You Hit a Pothole

  • Get a grip. Keeping a strong hold on the steering wheel helps keep you — and your vehicle — in control. The jolt can easily make your car swerve or bounce.
  • Lay off the brakes. Let your vehicle absorb the impact. When you abruptly hit the brakes, your vehicle nosedives, compressing the suspension.
  • Look for damage. Don’t ignore potential signs of damage after you’ve hit a pothole. Depending on the severity of the impact, you could be facing issues ranging from a punctured tire to a misaligned exhaust system to engine damage. Pay attention to how your vehicle drives and sounds.

How to Report Potholes

  • Contact the Texas Department of Transportation. You can report road conditions through this form or by calling 800.558.9368, which will connect you to your local TxDOT office.
  • Visit your city or town’s government website. Several Texas municipalities — large, small, and somewhere in between — have specific places where citizens can report potholes. 
  • Contact your local elected officials. In addition to calling their offices, also consider sending an email or message on Facebook or Twitter.

Your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent can help you get covered for mishaps on the road such as potholes.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and vary by situation. © 2020 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance