Potholes are a common and mundane sight on our roads. However, this doesn’t make them any less dangerous. They cause property damage and fatalities even among auto drivers. However, it is the motorcyclist who is most vulnerable to this hazard. The motorcycle’s small size and two wheels make it more prone to losing control after hitting a pothole. This may cause a motorcycle accident such as flipping over or veering into oncoming traffic.
Potholes often go unseen until it’s too late. When filled with water, they don’t appear any different from ordinary puddles. At night they are especially difficult to see. Even in plain daylight, a motorcyclist can hit a pothole when a difficult traffic situation causes him to swerve or takes his focus away from the road surface.
Pothole Safety Tips
- Maintain a lengthy following distance. Following too closely behind a vehicle gives you no time to see and react to a pothole. When following large trucks, increase the distance further.
- Pay attention to the vehicles in front of you. When you see traffic swerving around something unseen ahead, it is either an obstacle or damage to the pavement. When cars run over potholes, you can detect this from their up and down motion on their suspension systems. Observing the behavior of traffic is especially useful at night when potholes are all but invisible.
- Slow down on corners. Your view of the road ahead is limited by the curvature of the turn. In addition, you are more likely to lose control if you hit a pothole while in a tight turn.
- Report sightings of potholes. Report any sightings of potholes to the California Department of Transportation so that it gets repaired.
- Beware of puddles. It’s impossible to know what lies beneath a puddle’s surface. Whether or not the puddle is hiding a pothole, the road surface is different at that spot and it is best avoided.
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