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Potholes - Everything you need to know

Posted in Articles | February 18th 2020

Any driver knows that potholes seem to be everywhere over the roads in the UK and the issue only seems to be getting worse. The council are doing pothole repairs in certain areas but whilst there are still potholes around and forming, here are some tips to avoid pothole damage to your vehicle.

Driving Tips:

  • Stay alert and keep your eyes on the road so you can see if any potholes are coming up. If it is raining, it’s easy for a pothole to look like a puddle so always be cautious.

  • Make sure you keep a safe distance behind the vehicle in front of you so you can see any potholes in front of you, if you drive too close to the vehicle in front then you may miss one and damage your vehicle.

  • Drive Slowly, if you are driving down a road that seems to have many potholes then make sure you lower your speed. If you drive over a pothole at high speed you increase the chances of damaging your vehicle!

  • Keep your tyres inflated, you should check your tyre pressure regularly but if your tyre pressure is at the correct level then you will reduce the amount of damage to your vehicle made from potholes.

  • When you swerve out the way of a pothole then you need to be aware of other hazards around like pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles so always check your mirrors before you move to dodge a pothole.

  • Don’t overuse your brakes when going over a pothole because your vehicle will shift forward which will put more strain on the front suspension.

How are Potholes formed?

Potholes form in cold and wet weather, when water seeps through cracks in the road and when the water freezes it causes the cracks to expand. Once the ice melts and the water is evaporated there are holes and gaps left underneath the road surface, when vehicles pass over these sections of the road, the road surface collapses into the gap.   

How can Potholes damage your vehicle?

Potholes often cause damage to the wheels and tyres of your vehicle, the impact from the potholes can cause numerous wheel related issues including:

  • Lumps or bulges in your tyres.

  • Cracks or rips in your tyres in severe cases.

  • Buckled wheels.

  • Cracks and broken alloys.

  • Adjust your wheel balancing and tracking.

Driving over a pothole could also cause any driver to lose control of their vehicle which could result in an accident.

How to report a pothole

If you drive over a pothole or see a pothole that you are concerned about then you can easily report it to the Government via the gov.uk website.

If you find a pothole on a motorway or an A-road then you can contact Highways England.

Making a claim for pothole damage

Many drivers aren’t aware that you can try and claim compensation if your vehicle was damaged by a pothole. However, if you make a claim against a pothole that hasn’t been reported to the council then you won’t receive any compensation. This is because the council can’t be held liable for a defect, they aren’t aware of as they have a statutory defence.  So, if you see a pothole it is best to report it in case it causes damage to your vehicle at a later date!

When you are making a claim, you need to ensure you send it to the correct company/authority:

Stay aware on the roads to avoid potholes but ensure you check your vehicle over if you do drive through one!