What causes potholes?
Here in South Africa we are no strangers to when it comes to potholes. Its likely that we all come across one every now and again. Potholes are caused by temperatures that fluctuates through the seasons between the freezing and thawing of water under the roads. That and of course heavy traffic and heavy loads on busy roads.
The first thing to do is obviously to try and avoid the potholes completely as often as you possible can. Though unfortunately complete avoidance is not always an option. Potholes can cause severe damage to your vehicle. Particularly to the tires, rims, chassis, suspensions and even your engine and exhaust when hitting a pothole hard enough.
This is why the next few precautions are worth looking at:
Remember that driving the speed limit is always a good idea. The faster you are driving when hitting a pothole, the more damage will be done to your car. Try to slow down as much as is safely possible and release the brake when hitting the pothole. Don’t slow down too much as to put yourself and others in danger. Driving slower definitely results in less potential damage.
Watch out for the road as well as the car in front of you. Give some space and notice how the traffic around you is reacting to the road. You’ll be able to see when someone is swerving out of the way for potholes and this may give you a ‘heads-up’ to be able to prepare for a bump or two ahead.
Be cautious of big puddles that could potentially be potholes in hiding. There is no way of knowing how deep these potholes are, if indeed there are any. So recommended, the best thing for you to do is drive slowly and in a straight line. Hold the steering wheel firm to avoid losing control.
It is a necessity for you to inspect the quality of your tires. A poorly inflated or flat tire will more likely result in a popped tire or a damaged rim when hitting a pothole. Properly inflated tires act as added protection and shock absorber against potholes. Though this won't prevent damage completely, especially when driving high speeds or hitting a deep pothole, it will help for that occasional pothole you may come across on your day to day drive.
Report pothole sightings so that we can keep our roads maintained.
When you spot a pothole you can contact your local department of transport. You can then simply provide the relevant information and location details about your pothole sighting.
So lets keep a look out and avoid as much damage as we possibly can.