South African drivers have suffered enormous financial loss due to the unrepaired potholes caused by a lack of maintenance and overloading on most major routes. Pothole accidents pose both a financial and life threat for the majority of road users. Many wheel and tyre fitment centres have experienced a significant rise in new tyre purchases and mag wheel repairs due to this increase in pothole accidents. Drivers can however save their car insurance no-claims bonus by claiming from the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) or the responsible contractor.
Most major routes are deteriorating and not enough is been done to fix this problem. Potholes are mostly caused by insufficient road maintenance plans, insufficient policing of overloaded vehicles and incompetence from the responsible authority. In some cases the lack of service delivery and mismanagement of funds increases the problem.
Pothole accidents are a great worry for all drivers as it can severely damage your vehicle and threaten your life. A driver can lose control of the vehicle as a result of driving through a pothole at either low or high speed. Recently there have been an increasing number of media reports on the country’s pothole saga and the severe damages caused by pothole accidents. Car owners are frustrated by the negative response they receive from relevant authorities.
The good news is that road users can claim for damages caused by the potholes and road construction. It does however depend on which road the damage occurred and the process could potentially be drawn out and get bogged down in red tape.
The national roads agency, SANRAL provides the best option and chance of making a successful claim for pothole damage or damage caused by construction work on a national road. Making a claim for damage incurred while driving on a municipal road may present some problems. The driver has to approach the head of the municipality or the Department of Public Works. This process is time consuming and the submission of documentation can be very tedious.
To claim for pothole damage, the driver has to submit relevant documents in order for the claim to be evaluated. These include the ID document, driver’s license, car registration, 3 written quotes for the repairmen of the damages and a declaration signed by the claimant. The photos of the specific pothole and the damaged tyre or vehicle should be also be submitted.
As mentioned above this same claims process can be followed by South African drivers who incur vehicle damage due to damage while within a road construction area. Motorists can claim through the contractor’s insurance company. The claims are processed like any other insurance claim. The victim has to prove that the damage occurred as a result of road work. These claims can include damage caused by potholes, construction equipment and loose stones.