Most drivers will inevitably experience damage from potholes which can be expensive and inconvenient. Anyone who has hit a pothole will know that unnerving sound and the anxious feeling before checking the wheel and tyre.
While you can sometimes see potholes in time; the truth is, sometimes there really isn’t a lot you can do. However, we’ve compiled a simple guide with handy tips that should help you avoid potholes and protect your vehicle from damage.
Tips To Avoid Potholes
First and foremost, you need to stay alert while driving and keep your eyes firmly on the road ahead. This will ensure that you have time to slow down when you see potholes or any other road hazards. Hitting potholes may not always cause damage as it largely depends on the severity of the impact.
Speed plays a major part as does the size of the pothole and the angle of impact. Remember, the slower you’re going, the less damage a pothole will cause but it’s still better to try and avoid them at all cost. Another essential bit of advice is to be on the lookout for standing water as it could easily hide a pothole.
With that in mind, here are 5 ways to minimise pothole damage to your car:
- Only drive on tyres that are properly inflated and in good condition as that improves the chance of safely absorbing the impact
- Drive defensively which includes slowing down on unfamiliar or rough roads
- Keep enough distance between you and the vehicle in front to give yourself more time to react to any obstacles including potholes
- Recognise that even though you may have missed the first pothole that there could be another one waiting
- When you can’t avoid a pothole, take your foot off the accelerator, hold your steering wheel tightly and don’t brake. This will allow you to maintain the most control during impact
What Damage Can Potholes Cause
With potholes plaguing many South African roads, it’s important to know the damage that potholes can cause. Fact is, hitting a pothole doesn’t always cause damage as it depends largely on the severity of the impact.
Of course, speed plays a major part as does the size of the pothole and the angle of impact. Remember, not all pothole damage is visible as some are internal including wheel alignment and suspension. Pothole damage can cause flat tyres, bent rims, internal tyre damage, alignment problems or issues with faulty shocks and struts.
Regular wheel alignment checks are essential to stop premature tyre wear and can help prolong the lifespan of your tyres. After all, tyre safety should be the primary concern whether you drive long distances, go away for the weekend or do daily school runs.
If you’ve hit a pothole and suspect any damage, visit your nearest garage and have an expert technician take a look. You don’t want to risk causing more damage or injury by ignoring tyre damage.
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