Dealing with potholes on the road

Dealing with potholes on the road 28th November 2014

In winter when the roads freeze, cracks and imperfections in the surface are exacerbated. Potholes are an unfortunate by-product of this, and every winter, motorists the length and breadth of the UK have to deal with the troublesome holes. 

According to a report produced last winter by Britannia Rescue, potholes take up an area of around 295 square miles across the UK as a whole. It also stated that one in ten drivers have had their cars damaged in some way by the poor state of roads. 

The main issues can be wheels that become warped when a car bumps into a pothole, tyres being damaged or even suspension issues arising. If you have hit a pothole, it's always best to have your car fully serviced to make sure there are no major issues. 

But how can you also mitigate against the problem in the first place? We look at the top tips for driving to avoid damage to your car from potholes. 

  • Keep your eye on the road. Keep your eyes open for potholes at this time of year. They can seemingly appear from nowhere, so make sure you concentrate on the road at all times to give yourself a better chance of avoiding them. 
  • Increase distance. Give yourself more space than you normally would between yourself and the car in front. This gives you more of the road to see, and increases the chance you'll be able to react in time before hitting a pothole. 
  • Stay alert. If you need to swerve or brake to avoid hitting a pothole, make sure you are aware of your surroundings. You can't brake hard if there's someone behind you, and before you try to drive around a pothole you need to be sure that other road users are not going to be endangered by your actions. 
  • Slow down. Hitting a pothole at speed will really damage your tyres and suspension. It may take a little longer to get to where you're going, but slowing down will lower the chance not only of hitting a pothole at all, but of damage if you do. 
  • Stay safe. If you have suffered damage at the hands of a pothole and you need to stop to assess the problem, make sure you pull off into a safe place to stop before getting out. 

Posted by Danielle Barge