Managing the problem of potholes
South Africa’s roads are littered with potholes, which are often difficult to avoid. They can be hard to see, especially at night or in the rain, and heavy traffic simply doesn’t allow much room to swerve out of the way.
However, according to Tiger Wheel & Tyre, there are some precautions you can take to avoid potholes, or at least minimise the damage sustained by hitting one.
First, ensure tyres are properly inflated as they will then hold up better against potholes than under-inflated tyres. Leave enough room between you and the car in front of you; other than simply being good driving practice, this can be critical in spotting and avoiding potholes.
If you can’t avoid a pothole altogether make sure you slow down before you hit it – never brake directly over a pothole as this can cause more damage than speeding over it. In the case where you have to drive directly over a pothole, make sure to hold the steering wheel firmly to avoid losing control. FInally, watch out for innocent-looking puddles, as these are often potholes in disguise!
Symptoms of pothole damage:
- Car pulling to the left or right;
- Uneven tyre wear;
- Low tyre pressure;
- Bulges, tears or blisters on sidewall of your tyre;
- Indents in the wheel rim.