How to drive through Michigan potholes

There's actually a technique to the madness

Potholes in Metro Detroit. At least these ones have been filled. (WDIV)
Potholes in Metro Detroit. At least these ones have been filled. (WDIV)

DETROIT – If you're driving through potholes - and you likely are if you're reading this - you could be doing it wrong.

Potholes have become a Michigan tradition - not one we enjoy keeping alive.

This season's potholes have been particularly bad. It's been so rough, we stopped asking for the worst potholes and started asking for the best roads in Metro Detroit.

Here's the suggested way to drive through potholes

It's unfortunate that we have to note this, but here's what MDOT suggests:

There are often two schools of thought on driving through potholes: speeding up to "jump" over them and jamming the brakes hard to hit them as slowly as possible. Both might work occasionally but the best way is somewhere in between. 

Related: Why Michigan is so prone to potholes - and why repairs seem ineffective

If you see a pothole ahead and can't safely steer to avoid it, it's best to slow down, then release the brakes before you hit the pothole. This helps to reduce the speed at impact as well as give your suspension the full range of travel to absorb the impact.

If you can't avoid the pothole, straighten your wheel to hit it squarely and roll through. Hitting a pothole at an angle can transfer the energy of impact in ways more likely to damage your vehicle.

How to report a pothole

Whether you hit a pothole or you missed it, you can save your fellow motorists the headache and costs of repairs by reporting it. If it's on a city street or county road, report it to your city public works department or county road commission.

If it's on state trunkline (I, M or US route), submit it to MDOT's Report a Pothole webpage or call it in to the Pothole Hotline at 888-296-4546.

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