Driving during the cold weather season isn’t fun, but hitting the road in the spring can be even worse for your vehicle thanks to the damage that winter left behind. 

We’ve been there - you’re driving along on a sunny day without a care in the world, when suddenly - you spot it. Coming up on the road ahead, there’s a massive, deep, annoying pothole. 

Car hitting pothole
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Even though you try your best to avoid it, the other cars zipping on either side of you make it impossible to maneuver around.

With gritted teeth and white knuckles gripping the steering wheel, you brace yourself for impact, hoping it won’t be too terrible. But then, you hear (and feel it). 

THUNK!” 

It’s one of the worst feelings as a driver and affects thousands of motorists during springtime in New York State. 

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Potholes Can Cause Massive Damage

Hitting a pothole the wrong way can wreak havoc on your vehicle. Have any of these happened to you after you had an unfortunate run-in with a pothole?

  • Car pull to the left or the right when you steer? The pothole probably damaged your wheel alignment. 
  • Your steering wheel starts vibrating or shaking, or you hear weird noises that weren’t there before? It could have messed up your suspension. 
  • Low tire pressure alert on the dashboard? Soon you’ll find yourself with a flat tire that needs to be patched or replaced. 
AAA Pothole damage infographic
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According to AAA, the average repair bill for pothole-related damage to your car costs over $300. Pothole damage isn’t just a major dent in your bank account; it’s a massive inconvenience if you have to wait days (or sometimes weeks) for your ride to be repaired. 

If you spot a pothole along your commute, you can report it to the New York State Department of Transportation before it wrecks your car or someone else’s by calling 1-800-POTHOLE (1-800-768-4693). 

Read More: Get Potholes Filled By Doing This In New York

But if it’s unfortunately too late, there’s a way you can get your money back for the repairs that dumb pothole caused. 

New York State Will Reimburse You For Pothole Damage

Several drivers don’t realize that you can file a claim to have New York State pay you back for up to $5,000 of expenses toward vehicle repairs due to pothole damage. 

Specifically, according to their website, for:

property damages…where the damages are found upon investigation to have been caused by the negligence of the Department or one of its employees.

But of course, they don’t make it easy. You’ll have to print out a small claims form here and mail it to your local DOT office, where a representative will then investigate your claim before it’s approved. (There isn’t an option to fill out the form electronically.) 

You’ll also have to submit your claim within 90 days of the damage occurring.

Here’s An Easier Way To Get Refunded For Pothole Damage

Instead of dealing with the bureaucratic headaches, a lot of New York State drivers avoid the hassle of this system altogether by filing a claim for the pothole damage through their insurance company instead. 

However, depending on your coverage, your insurance may not include pothole damage, so be sure to look into it before you decide which refund route to take. 

Top 10 States For Pothole Damage

Top 10 States For Pothole Damage

Gallery Credit: Don Morgan

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