It’s no news that Nigerian cities have an abundance of bad roads amply blessed (you may wish to use Cursed) with attendant potholes, barrellholes and in some cases, outright sinkholes.
They are motorists’ permanent reminder of the neglect the authorities pay to road maintenance.
If you are a driver and you are lucky to spot them early or you know their location due to familiarity with the particular route, the potholes will at best, slow down your commute with the attendant re-arrangement of your seating position and require cautious maneuvering as you ease your vehicle from one bad spot and prepare for the next one. Meanwhile, your ears would be pricked for the underbelly scratching sound that will alert you to the fact that you have underrated the depth of your chosen pothole or overrated the ride height of your vehicle. Be aware that some particular potholes are determined to rip out your muffler.
Whenever the roads are flooded, which is not unusual during the rainy season, you will have the added problem of not knowing what lies underneath the flood. It is not unusual to see vehicles forging through water-logged roads with the waters up to their headlights!
The suspension components of your vehicles will take a serious beating from the stress being imposed by potholes.
That is why it’s not uncommon to find vehicles with torn-out ball joints crippled on the road, a most unpleasant and embarrassing sittuation.
Learn to follow the vehicle ahead when driving on bad roads. Commercial drivers are often familiar with their routes, if they are sticking to one part of a stretch of damaged road, it might be that the unused part has a ‘surprise pothole’ further down the road.
Avoiding a pothole is as simple as approaching it slowly and maneuvering away from it and choosing the good part of the road.
Simple? Not so.
How about when the entire ‘road’ is a plethora of mini and maxi holes that will hinder even an agricultural tractor?
Best course of action will be to turn back, and look for alternative roads or as someone once said – It’s a ‘buy 1 get 3 free’ situation. Check all of them and select the one you want to damage your vehicle!
If there is a particular bad road stretch you are familiar with, please share the location and your driving strategy with us to educate others.