|Targeted News Service|
A new national survey reveals that an alarming number of car owners have experienced damage to their vehicles as a result of potholes over the last five years. Poor road conditions have cost consumers and the insurance industry at least
* Keep an eye on traffic patterns. A number of cars that slow down or move quickly to other lanes may be a sign of major potholes or road damage ahead.
* Avoid the urge to swerve out of the way of a pothole at the last minute. You may swerve into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Risking damage to your car is wiser than risking the loss of your life or that of another person.
* Report major potholes or road damage to your state or local transportation department. Some states and localities have pothole hotlines. Motorists who think their state or local government will pay for damage to their cars may be out of luck. Laws in this area vary by jurisdiction, and even where such remedies are available, conditions may apply such as a requirement that the jurisdiction had notice of the pothole.
* If you run into a pothole and you suspect damage, pull over as soon as it is safely possible to assess it. If you notice damage, record details of the event and the specific damage--just as you would in the event of a collision with another motorist--in case you need to file an insurance claim. Your independent insurance agent or insurance company will need this information to process the claim.
* Check in at least annually with your independent insurance agent to ensure that you have the right coverage for your vehicles in the event of pothole or other damage. The survey was conducted for Trusted Choice and the Big "I" by
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