How To Deal With Pothole Damage As Roads Suffer Winter Damage

Picture of a potholeLast year saw heavy damage to the UK’s roads, thanks to the extended snow, ice and freezing temperatures. This winter looks set to be even worse – already, potholes are springing up everywhere as the big freeze thaws and causes cracks in the road surface to be pounded into holes by passing traffic.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has warned that motorists should be on their guard for potholes when driving and should be aware of the damage that can be caused to wheels, tyres and suspension by hitting a pothole at speed.

How To Get Potholes Fixed

If you have a pothole in your local area, don’t let it go unreported. You can report potholes directly to your local council, but a quicker and more efficient way is to use – new pothole reports are automatically sent to the relevant council and everyone can see which potholes have already been reported.

Once potholes are reported, councils have an obligation to fix them – or payout compensation if they cause damage!

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(You can also use it to report other local problems like vandalism and fly tipping.)

Driving Tips To Avoid Pothole Damage

The IAM has put together a selection of tips to help drivers avoid pothole damage. These make good sense and are worth following:

  • Leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front so that you can see the road surface before you drive or ride over it
  • If you do hit a pothole, check your tyres once you’ve stopped. Examine the inner as well as the outer tyre wall, which may have been damaged
  • Get the wheel alignment (tracking) checked as well; an impact with a pothole can easily disturb the adjustment, resulting in rapid tyre wear and affecting the car’s handling
  • Potholes can be even more dangerous for cyclists and motorcyclists; give them plenty of room to steer past them. They are entitled to a wobble and would appreciate not having a motorist trying to overtake as they are taking avoiding action
  • Avoid suddenly pulling out to avoid a  pothole – there might be a motorcyclist trying to get past you, or you could enter the path of an oncoming vehicle
  • Potholes tend to reappear in the same place as previous repairs fail – remember where you’ve seen one and expect it to be there again
  • Be extra vigilant on roads with lots of lorries, and around bus stops.  Extra pressure is put on the road surface wherever heavy vehicles stop, start or turn

I would add one more tip to this list – make sure your tyres are correctly inflated. Underinflated tyres are more likely to be damaged by driving through a pothole.

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