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2011-08-22 07:41

HOLE IN POCKET: Beyond the cost of wheel and tyre repair, potholes can cause deadly accidents. How best to avoid them?

Beyond their ability to inflict significant wheel and suspension damage to your vehicle, potholes (a scourge of South African roads) can be deadly.

How best to avoid them, though?

Well, Simon Elstow of Britain’s IAM Drive & Survive training consultancy says a few fundamental changes to driving behavior can help drivers to avoid the costly (and potentially) lethal consequences of pothole damage.

HEAVY WHEELS

According to Elstow, expect potholes (especially of the extreme variety) to reappear as initial repairs tend to fail.

Roads frequented by heavy-duty vehicules (such as trucks and buses) are most susceptible to pothole formation as the additional pressure of these heavy wheels manifests itself over time. Elstow advises drivers to be especially careful in areas such as ports, industrial parks and rural intersections.

In South Africa, be particularly careful in rural kwaZulu-Natal and near mining operations in Mpumalanga.

Elstow says a sudden emergency avoidance manoeuvre can easily lead to a collision and should be avoided, with generous following distances the key.

"As well as worrying about yourself and your vehicle, drivers should spare a thought for cyclists and motorcyclists who may be trying to get past a pothole, and give them a wide berth," he advised.

"They are entitled to a wobble and would appreciate not having a car attempting to overtake just as they avoid a hole in the road."
 
 


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