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Learn how to drive over or around potholes!

How to Drive Over Potholes


Closed Caption


Hi there smart drivers.

Talking to you today about avoiding potholes.

Yes we're going to give you some tips and techniques for avoiding potholes and prolonging the life of your vehicle's suspension.

Stick around, we'll be right back with that information.


Request from a smart driver to make an educational video on how to drive over potholes.

Hi there smart drivers.

Rick with Smart Drive Test talking to you today about how to avoid potholes.

I had a comment from Damien Jackson there in Montreal.

And he was practicing his driving with his Dad and his Dad was getting a little bit upset because he was hitting all the potholes.

Now just a story about Montreal there.

I was driving truck in Montreal some years ago and they're notorious for their potholes.

And the story goes that they only fix potholes if a chicken will fit in the hole.

Otherwise they don't fix the pothole.

So they have lots of potholes there in Montreal that you need to avoid.

A couple of things you're not going to miss all of the potholes.

It's just inevitable that you're eventually going to hit a pothole.

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So when you do hit a pothole just keep off the brakes and let the suspension do its work.

And then carry on when you get onto the other side.

You can let off the throttle too; that'll make it a bit easier on your body and on the vehicle as you're going through the potholes.

And those are a couple things that you can do.

Now just before we get started here Smart Drive Test helps new drivers get a license, veteran drivers to remain crash free, and CDL drivers to start a career as a truck or bus driver.

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Now avoiding potholes: three exercises I'm going to give to you.

The first is the two by four exercise.In Montreal, QC, Canada, road crews will only fix a pothole if a chicken fits into said hole.

You basically passenger side and driver side wheels up on a piece of 2x4 - just on the ground.

And I'll put a link down in the description there.

You can pick up a chunk of 2x4 off Amazon, believe it or not, and have it shipped to your door.

The second exercise is just to go out to a back laneway or some other roadway that has very little traffic on it, and practice avoiding the potholes there.

And then finally, out onto a roadway or highway and avoiding potholes there.

This is going to take space management to a whole new level; An advanced level of driving because you're going to have to move within your lane.

but not out of your lane when you're avoiding potholes.

So you're going to have to know where your vehicle is space in place.

It can be more challenging to avoid potholes in a larger vehicle owing to limited space you have on the roadway.

And I'll put a couple of videos up here for you learn to drive, and the Ohio maneuverability test.

And those will help you out with learning how to drive.

As well, to help you out with learning how to use your mirrors because when I'm backing up for the two by four exercise, I have to use the mirrors otherwise I I just find it nigh impossible to be able to hit the two-by-four with the wheels.

So know that you're going to have to be able to use the wing mirrors on your vehicle as well to be able to do this two by four exercise.

So let's hook up the cameras and show you how this is done.

In Vehicle

All right, so here we go.

Two by four exercise.

The driver's side is fairly simple because it's not too far away.

So you basically just line it up - nice and slow.

There's the front and there's the back.

Okay, and then we back up make sure there's nobody around us.

360° scan.

And again, as I said, I have to use the mirrors.

Here we go.

If I don't use the mirrors...okay...I can't get it.

To hit the 2X4 when reversing, you'll have more success if you use your wing mirrors when backing.

And I was not straight on that.

So I only got about half of the two-by-four.

I didn't get the whole thing because I was cockeyed with the vehicle in relation to the 2x4.

So we come around and we get the passenger side here.

And the passenger side's a little bit tougher because you're a lot farther away.

there we go and again even though I just pulled straight forward.

It's a fairly small target.

And you can see I'm looking in the mirror here.

I got to use the passenger mirror to be able to hit that 2x4.

Back Alleyways

So here in Vernon we have these back alleyways and they're full of potholes.

So these are good places for you to practice avoiding the potholes.

And as well, you don't have to get a whole lot of speed going to be able to avoid them, but you can move back and forth across the lane here and get used to avoiding the potholes.

So there's one out here on the edge and you can move right over to the left-hand side of the road here and practice avoiding the potholes.

And as I said in the introduction and the prologue, it's inevitable - you're going to hit a pothole if there's potholes on the road.

Back alleyways and other low density traffic areas are a great place to practice avoiding obstacles before moving out onto the roadway.

You're not going to be able to miss every one of them because sometimes there's just traffic too close to the edge or whatnot.

And you don't want to be on the brakes when you're going through the pothole.

You want the suspension to be able to do its work and you just let off the brake and let the vehicle roll through the pothole.

And as well you can let off the throttle too.

That'll make it a bit easier and give you a better ride.

So as you can see moving back and forth here to avoid the potholes.

And you can practice doing this on one of these back alleyways and whatnot.

And sometimes the best place to let the potholes go is just go through the center of the vehicle and whatnot.

And then that way you just straddle it with the two wheels.

Roadways & Highways

So again, this is an advanced skill here because you're going to have to watch the traffic.

And you're going to have to watch the road surface to see where the potholes are - and that you know - make a decision on the fly whether you're going to avoid the pothole or whether you're going to—you know—whether that's going to interfere with other traffic on the roadway.

So you've got to make that decision fairly quickly.

And so looking farther down the road is going to help you to make those decisions as you're driving, as opposed to whether you're going to drive through the pothole and whether you can avoid the pothole.

Potholes are most prevalent in the spring due to the frost thawing and causing damage to the road surface.

And you can avoid conflicting with other traffic.

You don't want do that.

So that's what you need to do for the purposes of avoiding potholes and making your ride smoother and keeping your Dad happy while you're driving.

And some of these commercial areas where you get a lot of commercial traffic, they're going to have more potholes than most other roads.

If you get roadways like this in Montreal there, you're going to get some of the roadways that are going to have a lot of commercial traffic.

These are going to be a lot rougher and have a lot more potholes than say other roadways such as these here.

And the other piece for avoiding potholes is you want to move to the right if you're driving on the right-hand side of the road.

Move to the Outer Edge of the Road

That way you're farther away from oncoming traffic or traffic in the other lane or whatnot.

It's the same thing if you're driving on the left side of the road in the world, you want to move to the left—to the outer edge—that way you're away from other lanes of traffic and potentially oncoming traffic and those types of things some things.

Rick August teaches you how to avoid potholes in your vehicle.

So you can see here in the dashcam that they filled in some of the potholes along this roadway and the bitumen - it's different colour.

That's another clue for you to be able to maneuver your way through the potholes and the minefields that are going to potentially cause your ride to be really rough.


Those are some tips and techniques for avoiding potholes.

Do the 2 X 4 exercise.

Go out onto a low traffic area where you can practice avoiding potholes.

Where I was here in Vernon, there's some back laneways and those types of things.

And then finally go out on the roadway and practice.

And know that you're going to have about 6 inches to a foot on each side of your vehicle (15-30cm) to move left and right to kind of avoid the potholes.


But as I said, you're going to have to have advanced space management skills because sometimes you're just going to have to get half the tire on the edge of the pothole in order to be able to avoid it.

So that's what you're going to have to do for the purposes of avoiding potholes.

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As well, thanks very much for watching.

Good luck in your road test.

And remember, pick the best answer not necessarily right answer.

Have a great day.

Bye now.

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