They wreak havoc on our cars, our nerves and our wallets, and no matter how much we try to fix them, it seems potholes are as Quebec as poutine.

With potholes so much a part of the landscape, you would think that by now most Quebecers would know how to handle potholes.

A new survey, however, found that many drivers don't. 

According to a Leger poll, 78 per cent of Quebec drivers do the wrong thing when confronted with a pothole.

It may sound obvious, says Francois Mercure of Allstate Canada, but you can't avoid a pothole if you can't see it. 

“Because sometimes the car in front of you will swerve around it very quickly and by the time you see it you don't have time to react,” Mercure explained. 

So hang back, he says - otherwise you might hit it at full speed. Or worse yet, you might suddenly brake into it.

“[That] can cause either a rear end collision or also increase the impact of the potholes,” Mercure added. “If you put the brake thoroughly it will push the weight of the car towards the front, which will increase the impact.”

Avoiding potholes is obviously better than hitting them, but Mercure says if you do swerve to avoid, do it carefully.

“Because you can cause collisions on either side of you, or you can even lose control of the car,” he explained.

If you can't avoid it, there's actually a good way to hit a pothole.

“It's actually to lift your foot off the gas - you can slowly brake, but not too harshly, and pass over either side of the hole if it's possible, [and] not in the middle,” Mercure explained.

More than half of Quebecers polled reported having to make repairs of between 100- and 500 dollars caused by potholes.

So as The Doors said, “keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel” - just remember not to accelerate over them.