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Hit a pothole? This is what you need to do

It’s dusk and you’re still in your car driving to your destination. You don’t know the road and it’s getting dark. Before you have time to stop or swerve, you hit a pothole so hard you feel your teeth rattling. Even though you were paying attention and driving slowly, you may have caused damage to your vehicle. So, what do you do next?

Look for a safe place to pull over. As you drive, take note of the steering and whether the vehicle is shaking or pulling to one side, which could be an alignment issue. Once you’ve stopped, check for visible damage to the exterior and underneath of the vehicle.

If you want to make a claim, ensure that you record the details of the incident and attach the following information with the claim form:

  1. A police affidavit
  2. Copy of claimant’s driver’s licence (in case of vehicle damage)
  3. Vehicle registration documents (in case of vehicle damage)
  4. Copy of ID
  5. Photos of the pothole/trench/manhole/object that damaged your car
  6. Invoice/proof of payment, if applicable

South Africa has a 750 000 km road network. While many national roads are in pretty good shape, it’s often a different story at municipal level. Wherever you drive, keep your wits about you and drive carefully.