05 May The Danger of Potholes in South Africa
Potholes are part and parcel of being a driver on many African and South African roads. They are extremely dangerous – not only for drivers, but for motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians, and road workers too. A vehicle’s wheel can become lodged in the pothole, causing it to swerve sideways or, in the case of two-wheeled vehicles, flip over. But aside from the life-threatening danger they present, they can cause great damage to your vehicle and to your wallet too. Here’s what to do when you are driving on poorly maintained roads with potholes.
When you are driving on roads, particularly in poor light, make sure you take caution and slow down your speed of travel. Keep your eyes on the road and look out for any potholes so that you can safely avoid them. If you come across a pothole and are unable to swerve, slow down and treat it as a speedbump in order to avoid tyre, rim or undercarriage damage. Don’t break directly over the pothole as this can cause more damage. Hold your steering wheel firmly while driving over a pothole, to avoid losing control over the car.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Maintain your vehicle and always keep it roadworthy. Money spent on preventative measures is often less expensive than repair after an incident. A well maintained, road worthy vehicle can save your life, or reduce the severity of accidentally hitting a pothole. If you think your vehicle may have suffered damage after hitting a pothole, take your vehicle to your trusted mechanic for a thorough inspection.
If you notice a severe pothole, call your local city or municipal department of transportation to report it. This will help them address the problem more quickly before others fall victim to the pothole. According to News24, you can report potholes in several ways. You can report them online at www.leadsa.co.za or www.potholebrigade.co.za. You can also call *120*1551# on your cell phone and follow the prompts (standard MMS tariffs apply), or type potholebrigade.mobi on your cell phone. Potholes can also be reported via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. When reporting pothole sightings, it is most helpful to state exactly where you saw the pothole, the approximate size of the pothole, as well as the road name and exact GPS coordinates.
Hopefully, we won’t have to worry about potholes being a problem in the future. Read our blog on Plastic Roads. When these are eventually rolled out across South Africa, potholes will no longer be a concern.
Rumdel Cape is a multi-disciplinary civil engineering construction company with years of experience in constructing roads, dams and bridges. We are involved in many road maintenance projects in South Africa and Lesotho. To keep up to date with these projects as well as our blogs that may be of interest to you, make sure you are following our Facebook page.