We can never avoid all the potholes on our path – but safe driving techniques may help us to avoid some! Poor road maintenance, and most often the lack of maintenance have left many rural roads looking like a minefield – presenting additional risks to drivers.
CSIR reveals magnitude of pothole damage
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research said on Thursday that motorists should brace themselves for more potholes this coming rainy season. With the current road maintenance backlog standing at R100bn, the council’s Hans Ittmann said that the focus needed to be shifted from developing more roads to maintaining existing ones.
Secondary (provincial) roads and those maintained by municipalities were the main problem. Budget constraints in provinces often led to reactive and poor road maintenance.
The CSIR compiled guidelines for engineers and municipalities to give comprehensive and practical information on the appropriate repair of different categories of potholes. Ittmann said the CSIR’s document should be distributed for free as it presents, among others, mechanisms for quality control of pothole repairs.
A recent study by the South African Road Federation indicates potholes cost motorists R50bn in vehicle repairs and injuries every year.
Advice to drivers driving around potholes this festive season
We would like to advise our drivers to drive with caution especially on rural roads and in rainy weather.
- Adjust your driving to the road conditions – reduce your speed and increase your alertness to road hazards.
- Only drive where you can see that it is safe to drive.
- When driving at night – reduce your speed – you will not be able to see potholes from a distance and the lights of oncoming vehicles might further obscure your vision.
- Be cautious in rainy weather – try to avoid driving through puddles – you never know which dangers lie beneath!
- Be alert to sudden movement and direction changes from oncoming vehicles trying to avoid potholes as well!
- Be alert to cyclists not staying in a straight line as they try to negotiate these dangerous roads!