This post is sponsored by Cooper Tires and A Girl’s Guide To Cars. Opinions are my own.

Springtime. Ah, birds chirping, a light breeze in the air, morning dew, and… potholes. As much as we love that winter has finally left us, springtime does show us reminders of how powerful snow and ice can be.

Cracks and crevices on the road, high water from melting snow coupled with spring showers, and potholes that seem to be everywhere! According to AAA, American drivers pay an average of $300 to repair vehicle damage related to potholes.

Sam Suanders – Flickr

In Wisconsin, I think we have finally seen the last of our snowfall for the season (fingers crossed), and that means the kids and I are going to try to spend our summer visiting as many of the state parks as we can. We are ready to get outside and find our adventure!

We’ve already started by visiting Rib Mountain State Park, but we didn’t even break in half of the trails so we will be back there for sure!

Another thing we are really looking forward to is finally visiting all the public access caves in Wisconsin. It has been on our list for a few years and this is the year we are going to hit the road and make it happen!

Since we’ll be doing so much driving, I want to make sure that our van is road trip ready and that I’m prepared when navigating these battle worn roads.

“To ensure that you are treating your vehicle with the best care, it is important to make sure that all parts of the car, including the tires, are regularly checked and well maintained. This includes avoiding potholes while driving whenever possible to do so safely, or inspecting tires if they come in contact with a pothole.” ~Jessica Egerton, Brand Development at Cooper Tires.

If you think about it, your tires are the only parts of your vehicle that come in contact with and keep you connected to the road. It’s so important to properly care for, maintain and inspect your tires.

Jessica Egerton, Director of Brand Development at Cooper Tires says “Tire maintenance might not always be top of mind for drivers, but being aware of hazards along the road, such as potholes, can help save money in repairs and increase the lifespan of tires.”

Is Your Vehicle Road Ready?

To make sure your vehicle is road ready, be sure to take care of your tires. There are three simple things you can do that take as little as 10 minutes to have you on your way in no time.

  • Check the pressure.
  • Check the tread depth.
  • Check the tire condition for cuts, cracks, splits, punctures, and irregular wear and/or bulges.

How To Check Tire Tread

The tread depth should be more than 2/32 of an inch deep and can be checked by inserting a U.S. penny into the tread with Lincoln’s head facing down. If the top of his head is covered by the tread, you have at least the minimum amount of tread you need.

Image Credit: Business Wire

For more tips on how to properly care for, maintain, and inspect your tires visit the Tires Matter section at Cooper Tires.

The ‘Right Way’ To Hit A Pothole

If you want to avoid car damage after you hit a pothole you will want to make sure you utilize a few tips to driving through an unavoidable tire wrecker.

Avoid Potholes When Possible

Of course, the best way to avoid damage from potholes is to try to avoid hitting the pothole in the first place. Look ahead and scan for potential problems, avoid puddles whenever possible as they could be hiding huge potholes, and make sure you are safely steering around problem areas when you can.

I am always trying to avoid this massive spot right on the main street of my town. Luckily, the roads aren’t usually very busy and I can navigate around them, but avoiding pothole pitfalls isn’t always that easy.

How To Drive Through A Pothole

Avoiding a pothole isn’t always possible and if you are headed straight for one there are some things you can do.

  • Slow down when approaching the pothole
  • Release the brakes before your tire comes in contact with the pothole
  • Roll gently through

If you’ve ever accidentally driven through a pothole that just ‘popped up out of nowhere’ you already know that if you hit a pothole at a high speed will increase your chances of damage to your tires, wheels, and suspension.

You may have even heard that dreaded “crunching” sound as you bounce up and down and wonder how much that was going to cost to fix. But if you drive deliberately and keep your eyes open, you can avoid those costly repairs by following the tips above!

Happy driving and have a great summer exploring!

Special thanks to Elizabeth Carpenter photography for her image of all the potholes on a road near her Wisconsin home.