The United Kingdom has been plagued with a growing pothole problem over the last several decades. The issue has become so drastic that you can guarantee that numerous potholes will be encountered across different roads in a short journey. Often you may not see or be able to avoid an encounter before it’s too late. Car wheels and tyres need relatively smooth surfaces to roll on, or else they could get damaged quite easily.
Not only does a pothole have potential to cause damage to a vehicle’s tyres, wheels, or suspension system but it can also be the catalyst towards accidents and crashes. Some may not fully appreciate the potential to cause such damage and destruction to a vehicle but in some instances the results can be catastrophic.
As many as 32% of motorists have had their car damaged by a pothole, new research by Citroen reveals. The average repair bill for this type of damage is £141.95, with 11% of drivers having to cough up more than £251 for a pothole-related repair. (RAC, March 2021)
It is also reported that 1 in 10 vehicle breakdowns in the UK are as a direct result of coming into contact with a pothole. Over a longer period of time, pothole damage can be so problematic that issues caused are either in the thousands of pounds or past the point of repair all together.
So how do you prevent yourself from hitting potholes in the UK? Let’s explore the problem more closely.
Why Does the UK Have a Pothole Problem?
Winter nights in the UK tend to experience high rainfall and below-freezing temperatures regularly. Subsequently, below surface water from rainwater frequently freezes; expanding, contracting and causing weakening to various parts of the surface over days, weeks, and months. This movement in the substrata then pushes towards the surface and as vehicles drive over the area regularly, it eventually causes pieces of the road to become loose and break away from the surface. The early signs of damage will be small cracks and holes on the surface. That is how dangerous potholes are formed.
What Can You Do to Avoid the Problem?
Whilst driving, it always helps to be vigilant and aware of your surroundings and the potential obstacles on the road. Always be cautious of debris and potholes regardless of the type of road or weather conditions. In some cases it may be easy to maneuver around or over potholes but much of the time this is not the case and a collision is unavoidable.
One strategy is letting the potholes pass under the middle of your car rather than under a tyre. However that may not be easy if cars and other potholes surround you on the road. Swerving to avoid potholes may only lead to vehicular collisions and so is not advised.
Potholes cost motorists an estimated £3 million in vehicle damages each year. Unfortunately local governments throughout the country are doing very little to combat the growing pothole problem in their towns and cities.
Many motorists are furious with their local government for not doing more to address the pothole issue. These feelings are completely understandable considering the cost of road tax which (some) goes towards fixing potholes when compared to the current state of many UK roads.
What Can Be Done to Eliminate the Pothole Problem?
Since there are more than 33,000 metres of potholes throughout the United Kingdom, resolving the UK’s pothole problem will require a nationwide effort.
Hiring a reputable surfacing contractor like THB to fix and repair potholes will help towards eliminating the issue. THB is a nationwide leader in road surfacing and civil engineering. We already work for many local authorities and councils carrying patch and pothole repair schemes. With over 20 years experience in the industry, THB can extensively repair all potholes to ensure they don’t rear their ugly head for a long time.
Ensuring that the road or surface in question is privately owned (not council) then THB will be able to assist. Pot holes on local authority roads should be reported to the relevant local councils.
The faster you act, the more effective pothole reparations are. The longer these problematic areas are left, the worse the situation will become. As the potholes become more trafficked and weather conditions worsen, this will only lead to the holes becoming longer, wider, deeper and more prevalent throughout a road. As the conditions worsen then subsequently so do the effects.
The UK government and people have the power to fix the country’s growing pothole problem. But even if the potholes get fixed, new potholes will continue to form every day on the various roads and streets throughout the country. That is why addressing the pothole crisis will be an ongoing process with no end time. Road maintenance will simply have to become a bigger priority for every local government agency in the country.
As for now, take good care of your vehicle. Make sure you change your tyres whenever the treads wear thin and avoid driving over potholes if you can help it. If you can follow that small piece of advice, you should be able to prevent any severe damage to your vehicle until the potholes get eliminated.