7 Tips to Avoid Costly Pothole Damage!

The conditions of South Africa’s roads continue to feature across headlines as potholes plague our national road networks. It is a welcome trend to see communities taking to the streets in an effort to fix potholes themselves, however, when the pothole dilemma is looked at on a larger scale, the sheer size of the problem begins to ‘sink’ in.

The fact of the matter is; potholes are here to stay – at least for now. According to Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, most of the South African provincial road network has reached its design life of 25-years…and further…they weren’t built to handle the amount of traffic which we experience today. This basically means that road maintenance is currently a never-ending catch-up game. This is not to say that those who are applying their minds to the matter will not find a solution, but rather that motorists, for now, need to find a way of steering clear of road hazards such as potholes.

As most of us will know, hitting a pothole can be a costly event. Especially if the pothole takes out more than one tyre (as seen in 20% of our Tyre Insurance claims!) So, what can you do about it? As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure, so here are some quick tips you can keep in mind when navigating the roads:

Slow down:

By slowing down you’ll have the advantage of being more aware of what’s coming and will have more time to react and safely navigate around a surprise pothole.

Keep your distance:

Like Tip 1, this is about allowing yourself time to react. If you’re driving too close to the car in front of you, then you will be limiting your ability to spot upcoming potholes.

Be aware of puddles:

A neat trick that potholes like to do is disguise themselves as puddles of water. So make sure to pay attention and look out for puddles as there could be a pothole hiding below.

Both hands on the wheel:

If you end up in a situation of an ‘unavoidable pothole’, make sure to have both hands on the wheel so that you can maintain control of the vehicle.

Don’t brake:

An interesting tip is to brake before the pothole and not in it. This is because when you brake, pressure is placed downward on the front of your car, causing the front wheels to dig into the pothole. It is best to slow down before the pothole and then coast over it.

Inflate your Tyre’s:

Tyre’s inflated to the correct pressure will have more resistance when hitting a pothole than an under-inflated tyre would.

Inspect your tyres:

Make sure the tread on your tyres is of roadworthy condition. A worn tyre is far more likely to have extensive damage caused by the impact of a pothole.

But as we all know too well, sometimes life has other plans and as much as we might try to avoid potholes, all it takes is that one occasion that a pothole gets the better of you and now both your tyre and budget are deflated – especially when the average cost of tyre replacement is in excess of R3500! So here is a quick bonus tip so that you don’t have to take the financial knock of tyre damage:


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Tyre insurance cover for your wheels.

Even if you’re a careful driver, your vehicle’s tyres and rims are exposed to countless hazards every time you’re on the road, such as potholes, cracks and road debris. That means no matter how well you drive, you’re likely to experience some sort of damage to your tyres and rims.

Thankfully, avoiding unexpected and expensive replacement and repair bills is easy with tyre protection from Bidvest Insurance.

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