Living in Malaysia, having roads full of potholes is never unheard of, with many vehicles falling victim to the various pothole-ridden roads hard to spot with the naked eye.
How are potholes formed?
Potholes are holes in the road lower than the flat surface of the road, varying in sizes and depth depending on various factors.
Potholes form when water seeps into the soil underneath, weakening the link between the road and the soil. Then with continuous traffic going over the affected area, the road will slowly break apart and the loose bits will be slowly ejected out of place by the cars going over it. Thus slowly making a small bump into a pothole.
What driving through potholes does to your car
Potholes can be hard to spot, especially during nights when visibility is bad, where you cannot slow down in time to avoid the potholes on the road. Even cyclists and motorcycle riders have fallen victims to potholes on the road.
If you unfortunately go over a deep pothole at a high speed, you risk damaging your car’s suspension system, including your tyres and rims due to the sudden strong impact. It may cause your suspension to be misaligned or your rims getting bent or cracks, both that will need some repairs, and may be dangerous to drive in such a condition.
If the pothole is too deep and your car has a low ride height, your undercarriage might also come into contact with the road, which is the lowest point of your car. This may cause damages to the structural component of your car, something you’d absolutely want to avoid at all costs.
Who is in charge and who to contact?
The roads under Malaysia are all under different jurisdictions, such as public roads, private roads and highways. So depending on where the potholes are, you can contact the companies in charge to repair the potholes on the road, as they have the obligation to do so.
If your car was damaged by potholes on the road, you can try to contact the companies in charge of the road to get compensation, but then this falls into laws, so take advice from a lawyer if you can.
Complaints about potholes can also be made to Jabatan Kerja Raya (JKR) at https://aduan.jkr.gov.my/ , where they will then channel your complaints to the relevant companies in charge to repair it. You can also search for the companies in charge of the road where potholes are present, and lodge a complaint directly to them.
Potholes are bound to appear and as a driver, try to be aware of potholes and if possible, warn others and inform the relevant authorities to patch the pothole so that potholes won’t affect the daily commute of road users.