SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It is a rough ride across many paved streets these past few weeks, especially in Sioux Falls as snow, ice and plowing have all combined to gouge out deep, jagged holes and crevices in the city streets.
Hitting these holes, especially at driving speed, can have major consequences for your vehicle.
While they are quite jarring, they could also cause damage.
Jerry Winter is a defensive driving instructor for the South Dakota Safety Council. “You really should go by your recommended pressure on your tires,” he said. “If your tires are too low and you hit a pothole — you can cause damage to your rims.”
With cold temperatures as of late, there’s a good chance your tire pressure has fallen in recent weeks. If it’s been a while since you checked, now may be a good time.
With the risk associated with hitting potholes, the obvious solution is to avoid them, but Winter cautions you to take care with how you do so.
“You’ve gotta be aware of your surroundings. You should be using your mirrors, you should be scanning ahead — be aware of your blind-spots,” Winter said, noting that all of this is important to keep you safe while you move in a lane, or even out of a lane, to avoid a pothole.
But what if you can’t avoid the pothole? We asked Winter if the best option is to slow down and let your tires drop fully into the hole, or to power through and try to skip across at speed.
“You’re not going to be able to skip over them,” Winter said. “It definitely comes down to your speed and stuff — if you’re going slower then you can kind of navigate those potholes and that’s going to save a lot of wear and tear on your vehicle.”