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Tips on how to avoid pothole damage

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

We have all seen them and some of us have experienced the heart wrenching feeling of driving through them… potholes have become a signature look for South African roads. They cause major damage to cars and make the driving experience a game of ducking and diving.

As a brand that advocates for “driving right and insuring right”, we’re doing our part through The Pothole Patrol, a partnership with Discovery Insurance to repair as many potholes as we can.

Our continued effort to curb the impact that potholes may have on your ability to drive right, has propelled us to put together a list to help avoid potholes damaging your vehicle.

The tips below can help your vehicle against damage by a pothole:

 

  • Don’t tailgate: If you are far enough behind the driver in front of you, you will have a better chance of taking an evasive maneuver with the extra space and avoid hitting the pothole.
  • Slow down: By doing so, you will be able to act accordingly when you see a pothole ahead.
  • Puddles contain hidden dangers: Use extreme caution when driving over puddles - what may appear as a level hole could contain a very deep pothole.
  • Pay special attention to your tyre pressure: Keeping tyre pressure consistently at the manufacturer’s recommendation.  This will help protect your vehicle’s wheels and tyres from being damaged by pothole impact.
  • Hold the steering wheel tightly: Hold your steering wheel firmly and keep both hands on the wheel at all times. You don’t want to be thrown off course by a stray pothole.
  • If you’re going to hit a pothole, don’t brake: Your car's weight is distributed evenly between the front and rear axles. When you slow down or accelerate the weight distribution changes. When you brake, the front axle gets more weight, and when you accelerate, the rear axle gets more load. You have probably noticed that your car tilts forward when you brake, and tilts backwards when you accelerate. It does not seem like a big deal at first glance, but it is a big deal for your suspension.It is recommended that you release the brakes immediately before your car hits a pothole. When you brake heavily, your car tends to nose-dive. When you let off the brake, the car rocks back and you have more suspension over the front wheels, helping to absorb some of the blow.

 

With over 2 500 potholes filled since the launch of The Pothole Patrol in May, it’s fair to say a “dent” has been made to chisel away a problem that plagues many.