Bridgestone has reminded holidaymakers that observation of the road surface when driving is the most effective way to reduce road damage to tyres. Romano Daniels, Bridgestone South Africa’s General Manager of Group Communications and Marketing, said that South Africa’s roads present some unique challenges.
“We know that there is a backlog in South African road maintenance which is said to exceed R100 billion,” he commented. “This increases the risk that your tyres could suffer impact- or object-related damage when driving.”
Daniels advised motorists to constantly be on the lookout for potholes. “The easiest way to identify a pothole is by the spray of mud and gravel left on the other side of the hole. Even if you can’t see the pothole, the change of road surface may help alert you in time,” he said. “Also, if you come across trenches which haven’t been properly filled in, slow down well in advance so that you can choose the least damaging route through the trench,” he added.
He said the poor state of roadworthiness of many South African vehicles meant that much road debris consisted of parts which had dropped off other traffic. “Even if a part lying in the road looks harmless, like a metal strip, avoid driving over it if you possibly can,” said Daniels. “Remember that a front tyre may kick it up into a position where it could slash the rear tyre,” he explained.
Daniels advised motorists to check their tyres frequently for smaller road hazards like nails and screws which have become embedded in the tyre. “If you see foreign objects embedded in your tyres, don’t attempt to remove them yourself, but consult a tyre specialist,” he said. “If the tyre sidewall has been penetrated, it’s likely the tyre will have to be replaced, although small punctures in the tread area might be repairable,” he explained.
“This is why weekly tyre pressure checks are important – they enable you to detect slow punctures and rectify them before a tyre is damaged by running at too low a pressure,” he concluded.
Issued by Bridgestone South Africa on 7th December 2009