Potholes require no introduction to the people of India. Potholes may be seen on almost every road in India. Pothole sizes may vary depending on region, but we can’t escape them, especially in our country. Blaming the system or a person will not help us escape the hazards that we and our vehicles face!
Continue reading to learn about the damage that these unsightly potholes on the road may bring to your vehicle. Learn how to avoid pothole damage as well.
Potholes are lethal.
It’s debatable if potholes always result in death. Potholes, on the other hand, have the potential to cause serious to deadly accidents. Let me tell an incident that occurred as I was driving along Gurgaon’s Golf Course Extension Road. The road is riddled with craters. When a person traveling above 60kph saw a crater, he or she applied the brakes firmly. This set off a cascade of events. All three vehicles were severely damaged as a result of a dreadful pothole.
Efficiency is affected when people always ask, “Kitna Deti Hai.”
Yes, potholes can reduce the efficiency of your vehicle. We’ll explain it in simple terms. Traffic is slowed due to potholes. As a result, they shift into lower gears. Because people drive slowly, a lot of gasoline is spent. Again, if it hadn’t been for the potholes, this would not have happened.
Furthermore, larger potholes might cause traffic delays. This also means that more gasoline is consumed on the road. As a result, we may argue that potholes reduce the fuel efficiency of our automobiles.
Tires are crying, for god’s sake
The damage caused by driving over potholes starts with the tyres. While driving, the tyres become crushed between the road surface and the vehicle’s wheels. As a result, the tyre is subjected to strong and concentrated forces. As a result, if your vehicle strikes a pothole, the tyre might be ruptured. The tyre’s sidewall may slice, leaving the tyre irreparable. Because of all of this, the internal belts that constitute the structure of the tyre may become ripped at times.
Wheels or Rims lose their alignment.
While driving on terrible roads, the wheels suffer the most punishment after the tyres. Rim damage can include bent lips, fractures/cracks, and being bent out of round or out of parallel. Some of these defects may not be seen unless the vehicle is spun in place on a hoist or positioned on a tyre balancer. The impact shock is felt by the wheel bearing at the same time as the wheel.
A direct bearing failure as a result of striking a pothole, on the other hand, is highly improbable. Repetitive or severe hits, on the other hand, can crater or flake the chromed surfaces on which the bearing’s balls or rollers run. This can result in death, excessive play, or – more typically – loud operation.
Also Read, 10 Simple Tips Increase Mileage of your Car
Suspension might feel suspended after potholes
Car suspension is intended to absorb shocks and provide passengers with a pleasant ride. A jarring impact caused by the car hitting a pothole might create a number of suspension issues. Misalignment, shattered ball joints, and damaged shocks or struts are all examples of this. A bent or twisted suspension can cause your steering to be off-center and your vehicle to pull to one side. The tyres may wear unevenly, and the vehicle’s tilting to one side may suggest faulty ball joints, struts, or shock absorbers.
The exhaust might feel exhausted after it hit any potholes
Exhaust pipes run along the car’s underbody. They are a prime target for potholes on the road. Deep potholes might cause damage to the car’s bottom. Furthermore, the automobile may drag and scrape the underside against the road as a result of this. This may cause a dent or rupture in the exhaust pipes, muffler, or catalytic converter.
If you’re hearing strange exhaust noises or experiencing a loss of power, your exhaust may have dents or holes. Unchecked pollutants can be discharged into the air as a result of cracked and perforated exhaust and catalytic converters. Furthermore, a leaking pipe might allow toxic vapors to enter the cabin.
Safe Driving Techniques to Avoid Crashes Caused by Potholes
Even if you can’t always avoid driving through a pothole, smart driving techniques can decrease the degree of damage and help you avoid an accident!
- Defensive driving entails being aware of other vehicles before swerving to avoid a pothole.
- Allow yourself the time and space to react quickly when you see a pothole in the road!
- Keep an eye out for potholes when driving. Avoid being distracted while driving! When a motorist is aware that one is approaching, he or she has more time to avoid hitting it.
- When driving at night, in poor visibility, or on wet roads, reduce your speed/slow down.
- Slow down if you see the road is in bad condition – if there is one, there may be numerous potholes.
- Increase your distance from the car in front of you: The three-second following distance may not be sufficient, especially when following trucks and other heavy vehicles that may impede your view of the road ahead. The pothole may arise too soon for an efficient and timely solution.
- It’s all about speed! If you can’t avoid a pothole, slow down before hitting it to reduce damage. The faster you drive, the more probable it is that you may cause harm. You must slow down without causing a danger, so check to see whether somebody is close behind you, approaching you, or in your blind zone!
- If you must drive over a pothole, slow down and regard it as a speed bump to avoid damage to your tyres, rims, or undercarriage.
- Breaking directly over the pothole might actually inflict more harm. Slow down before hitting the pothole.
- To avoid losing control of your vehicle when driving over a pothole, keep your hands firmly on the steering wheel.
- Avoid being too harsh with your steering changes; it is preferable to drive over a pothole than to create a head-on accident or a side-swipe incident!
Vehicle Fitness for Driving on Potholed Roads
What can we do to improve vehicle fitness/roadworthiness when driving in pothole-prone areas?
- Check that your tyres are properly inflated according to the manufacturer’s specifications. A properly inflated tyre acts as an air cushion between a pothole and a vehicle. A tyre that is under-inflated may not be able to endure the impact of a pothole. Check the tyre pressure and condition to ensure they are ready for the road.
- Keep the Suspension in Good Condition – Consult the specialists if you discover a problem with the suspension, such as uneven tyre wear. Suspension issues can exacerbate and increase the cost of pothole damage.
- Make yourself visible through seeing and being seen. Make sure you have a clear view of the road’s surface. Keep your windscreen/windshield clean and your window wipers in good operating order when driving in the rain or on wet roads.
- Lighting and illumination: Your headlights should provide adequate brightness and visibility ahead of the vehicle. Test them on a regular basis!
- Always maintain your car and keep it roadworthy! Money spent on preventative measures is frequently less expensive than money spent on repairs after the fact.
According to the South African Automobile Association, around 60% of our roads are plagued with potholes and require upkeep. That means that for every 100 kilometers driven, 60 of those kilometers put your automobile in danger of significant damage, which might lead to an accident in which you are injured.
That’s a really awful thing. So, what should you do if you strike a pothole?
Don’t apply the brakes too forcefully.
Your initial response may be to brace yourself and slam on the brakes, but this is a bad idea since stopping will merely drive the weight of your automobile into the pothole, inflicting even more damage.
Don’t keep driving.
We’ve all had that experience… Your automobile strikes a pothole, and you get that sinking sensation in your stomach. You know you should pull over and see if the damage is too serious about continuing driving without help, but you have kids to pick up, a meeting to attend, or you simply want to pretend it never happened.
Whatever the cause, you must just pull over to a secure location and check your wheels and tyres to assess the damage. You don’t want to aggravate the damage or cause an accident as a consequence of a flat tyre, a wobbly wheel, or misaligned steering.
Potholes beautify our country’s highways, whether they go north, south, east, or west. Some things never change, no matter how hard we try to elect better leaders. As long as potholes persist, our automobiles will bear the brunt of the damage. Keep an eye out for potholes, and we can do our best to protect our vehicles from pothole damage.