Potholes have become the norm on South African roads and it is not always possible to avoid driving through them. Here are a few guidelines on what to do if you hit one or more potholes.
Be Aware Of Weather Conditions and Dim Light
Be especially cautious when driving in wet and low light conditions as potholes are very difficult to identify in such circumstances.
Be Aware of Oncoming Traffic
When trying to avoid a pothole drivers may automatically swerve into the lane of oncoming traffic road but this could be risky and highly dangerous. If you do need to move into the lane of oncoming traffic be utterly confident that it is safe to do so.
Stay The Course
If you realise too late that you are about to hit a pothole, it is advisable that you drive straight towards it and not make any sudden steering movements as this might unsettle your car. Sudden braking or accelerating could also jeopardise your safety and that of people around you.
After hitting a pothole….
Assess the damage
Stop to check for damage to your tyre and rim if it is safe to do so. Look out for cuts or bulges on the sidewall of the affected tyres.
If it is not safe to stop, reduce your speed and continue driving while actively listening out for anomalies coming from your tyre such as the hissing sound of air escaping from your tyre.
Also check that your car is not pulling to one side.
Check Your Insurance Cover
Review your insurance policy and make sure that it covers damage caused by potholes, if it does not, shop around for a more progressive insurance company which offers this very vital cover.