Potholes are the Bane of Security Drivers

We have always been impressed with the information available from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM). Recently, we read their Driving Safety Culture 2021 report and found that Potholes are the number one concern for drivers in the UK. Those who live in areas of the world that do not get blasted with snow and ice may not understand why potholes would be the number one concern. But those who provide Secure Transportation in a winter-weather environment understand that potholes can be problematic. 

Potholes are a matter of safety and inconvenience. But some things can be done before, during, and after hitting a pothole.

Develop a proactive approach similar to a security scenario, except you avoid potholes instead of security issues. 

That strategy is similar to a route survey, except you are conducting a pothole survey. Since you take the same route, be aware of the location of potholes. They can appear in just a day or two. Avoid driving on unfamiliar roads, as potholes are more likely on streets with less traffic.

Before Traveling the Roads

Check the air pressure in your tires regularly to ensure the correction inflation and that the treads are in good condition. Keep them at the manufacturer’s recommendation. 

Have a clean windshield! You can’t avoid the pothole you can’t see.

While Driving

Observe the traffic ahead of you. If you see other cars swerving and stopping, it could be a warning that a pothole lies ahead. 

Beware of puddles. What might appear to be surface water could be a deep, wide, sharp-edged pothole hiding below the waterline.

On roads that you know have potholes, reduce your speed. Hitting the pothole at a slower pace will create less damage. It’s a science thing.

During Pothole Interactions

If you can’t avoid a pothole, drive over it slowly and smoothly—brake lightly or, if possible, not at all. Keep a presence of mind and ease off the brakes before impact. Pressing hard on the brake pedal compresses the front suspension and increases the damage. 

If possible, don’t swerve away from the pothole as a last-ditch attempt to avoid it. You risk hitting the pothole on an angle, which can cause more damage to the tire, wheel rim, and alignment than if you hit it straight on.

Last-second avoidance maneuvers can be hazardous to your health and upset the guy sitting in the back seat.

If you swerve away from the pothole, check traffic around the vehicle to ensure there is nothing to hit.

After You Hit a Pothole

Inspect Tires

Immediately inspect your tires and rims for damage. Potholes can cause cracks, bulges, and punctures. Potholes can cause your tires to lose pressure and lead to a blowout.

Inspect Suspension

If the pothole is significant, don’t wait – have the vehicle suspension checked as soon as possible. A good indication of a problem is unusual noises or vibrations. 

Check Alignment

Hitting a pothole can, and usually will, knock the wheel out of alignment and affect the steering. Check the wheel alignment if the vehicle pulls to the left or right.

Recognize Noises or Vibrations

A hard pothole hit can dislodge wheel weights, damage a tire or wheel, and bend or even break suspension components. If you hit a pothole, listen for any new or different sounds. If you notice any, it’s time to have the vehicle checked by a technician. 

I’m sure you won’t be surprised to discover that there is a pothole website. 


Some other information sources.