Dodge the pothole
As we approach the tail end of summer we look forward to the challenges that are associated with driving during this time.
Wintertime brings with it a particular challenge, not unique to South Africa – potholes. In cold weather the freezing and thawing of water under the tarmac weakens the road and causes large cracks. Add to that the weight of vehicles (more so that of HGV’s) driving over the road, and eventually potholes form.
Driving experts offer a number of strategies for avoiding potholes and best practices for dealing with them when there is no alternative. Here are some from MasterDrive to keep in mind:
- Make sure tyres are properly inflated at all time. Tyres with too much or too little air don’t handle potholes like properly inflated ones do.
- Look ahead – 12 seconds ahead – at the road. It may sound obvious, but drivers often forget to keep an eye out for potholes. While the potholes may not be fully visible the reactions of other drivers may indicate their presence.
- Don’t tailgate — this kills visibility, making it virtually impossible to spot potholes in advance of hitting them.
- Slow down when you see a pothole, but don’t brake directly over a pothole. This can cause more damage as it puts stress on the tire, wheel and suspension.
- When driving over a pothole, hold the steering wheel firmly (in the 9 / 3 o’clock position) and straight to avoid losing control.
- Finally, that while avoiding potholes is always the best option, don’t position yourself to land up in a crash situation just to avoid hitting one.
The video dramatizes the subject even though it is seen from the wrong side of the road.
Till next time drive safe – keeps heads up to see the holes
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