Best tips for potholed roads...

2011-08-22 07:41

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.


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."

  • rumsour - 2011-08-22 10:30

    Avoid potholes, buy a hovercraft. Think of all the advantages: skims over potholes, must be toll free as it has no wheels on the road surface, no dented rims, punctured tyres and no one will steal your wheels!

      Boodaleh - 2011-08-22 12:29

      Want one, where the dealers at?

      ronaldv83 - 2011-08-22 14:46

      No breaks and you need to start turning about 50m before you get to your turn off

      Mr. Fusion - 2011-08-22 15:51

      The skirt will still wear out faster than a street worker

      The lost Emperor ? - 2011-08-23 10:46

      And even if they were practical, our government would put a tax on air, just so that they can make money off us.

  • D & T - 2011-08-22 11:21

    Where are the "best tips" here? This article adds no value to the motorists at all!

  • Staffinity - 2011-08-22 12:18

    i read this thinking that you would tell us or at least give us a tip on where to go when a pot hole stuffs up a rim and tyre and who do we approach or sue.

      TP - 2011-08-22 14:15

      You send the bill to the municipailty it happened in. If it's in an area of road works, you need to find out from SANRAL who does that sections work package, meaning which company does the roadworks on that section. You then send them the bill, they are liabill to cover potholes etc, basically to keep the road drivable.

  • Mark_Simons - 2011-08-22 13:21

    The headline should have actually said how to avoid potholes. Stick to known routes and less driving at night unless its a familiar road. Thats my 2 cents.

  • Vissie - 2011-08-22 14:47

    "Best tips for potholed roads..." - Are you serious, if this is the best tips, then we are f$%$ed people. This writer decided to use the words "Best", so we should just believe him?, or is he just an idiotic writer who had to bull$hit us with his title to get some people to read it. I would love to see a response from the writer on what his article actually was all about.

  • Deirdre - 2011-08-22 16:29

    And report potholes to www.potholebrigade.co.za

  • The lost Emperor ? - 2011-08-23 10:45

    Tip: move to the Western Cape. They actually fix potholes. And fix them properly.

  • Joubs - 2011-08-23 11:54

    Following distances are very important. If you drive too close behind a vehicle you cannot see a pothole in time. Also try not to drive in the "groove" -the part of the roadway that is most driven on. Driving at night or during wet weather should also be avoided where possible!

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