As a driving instructor I spend a lot of time driving on all types of roads, teaching pupils to cope with the different road conditions. Due to the recent bad weather my pupils have had to deal with a hazard that is fairly unpredictable. The importance of knowing how to deal with potholes safely is an integral part of driving safely.
Driving tips to avoid potholes
- Keep your speed down and leave plenty of room in front of your vehicle so you can avoid potholes without getting into an accident.
- Watching the traffic flow can help. If you find that everyone in front of you is making an unexpected detour, take heed. They may be swerving to avoiding a pothole in the road
- As you drive back on forth on frequently travelled routes, make a mental note of the potholes. People often drive to and fro with so much on their minds that they don’t remember how they got to their destinations. Clearing your mind and concentrating on your commute gives you the presence of mind to avoid potholes rather than absentmindedly running into them.
- Be cautious when the roads are wet. Don’t drive over a puddles there could be might particularly deep pothole in hiding.
- If you can’t avoid a pothole, do your best to slow down but don’t break directly over a pothole it can actually cause more damage. Hold the steering wheel firmly to avoid losing control. Be aware of traffic behind you.
- Avoid potholes in a safe manner – don’t swerve, watch for other motorists.
- Be extra careful at night when potholes are hard to see. Make sure your headlights are clean and the beam set correctly to give you the best chance of seeing the potholes coming.
- Potholes usually develop at the road edges. If your tires fall off the edge of the road, slow down and avoid braking. Once you have slowed and are in control, steer back onto the road.
- Watch out for other road users swerving to avoid potholes. Potholes are an extremely dangerous hazard for motorcyclists and cyclists. On multi lane roads beware of cars or lorries suddenly swerving into your lane to miss a pothole.
- Always maintain the proper air pressure in your tires. An improperly inflated tire increases the chance it will burst when it hits a pothole. If you frequently drive over pothole roads or if you suspect damage have tires, wheels and suspension components of your car inspected.