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Road safety tip: Don't brake over a pothole

Published on: 31 March 2014

Dodging potholes has become the norm for motorist, especially in the Gauteng region following the heavy rains recently. Even though the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) has begun repairs which have been reported since the start of the rains, motorists are still advised to drive cautiously and not to drive faster than 40km/h in badly affected areas. Here are some tips to help you minimise the damage potholes may cause:Potholes should be avoided to prevent damage

  • Try to avoid potholes! With that said, sometimes it’s not possible and if this is the case, don’t brake while going directly over a pothole.  If your wheels are going to hit the pothole, apply your brakes and slow down before, but not during contact with the pothole. Damage is more likely if you brake as your wheels are going over the pothole.
  • Keep to the roads that you are familiar with – you’ll know where the potholes are and/or where they’re likely to be.
  • Be wary of puddles. These could be hiding large potholes, sometimes even big enough to do severe damage to the car.
  • Hold the steering wheel tightly.  Hitting a pothole may cause you to lose control of the car. Avoid this by maintaining a firm grip on the steering wheel while driving over a pothole.
  • Whether you have hit a pothole or not, proper wheel alignment ensures safe handling of your car and keeps your tyres in good condition.

Going away this Easter holiday?

If you are taking a road trip this Easter, The Road Traffic Management Cooperation (RTMC) says motorists should be aware of potholes and drive with caution. In the past, the N1, N2 and N3 have reported the highest traffic volumes.

Officials from the RTMC also say drivers should be alert of oncoming cars, as these may swerve to avoid potholes and divert into oncoming traffic.

It goes without saying that potholes can damage your tyres and even cause accidents. Remember to drive cautiously in affected areas and get your car wheel alignment checked after you’ve hit a bad pothole.