Half of British drivers have sustained vehicle damage from potholes in recent years, they told pollsters for the AA.
The AA-Populus poll, which surveyed over 21,000 drivers, found that 92% of British drivers are concerned about potential damage to their vehicle as a result of poor road conditions.
This problem has led to more than half (52%) of drivers – or almost 17 million motorists experiencing vehicle damage in recent years.
Besides safety and financial considerations, Brits are also worried about the impact the roads have on their day-to-day lives, with three quarters (75%) of drivers becoming increasingly concerned about higher levels of traffic leading to longer journey times.
The dismal state of British roads means that 4.6 million drivers are reluctant to use their cars for local journeys, while a further 3.7 million avoid longer car journeys because of this.
This is an issue that seems to be a particular problem in the UK and when considering the state of British roads in comparison to European neighbours, almost half (46%) of drivers agreed that road conditions are generally better in mainland Europe than the UK.
The issues with Britain’s road network mean that almost three quarters (72%) of drivers are concerned that their car tax isn’t being used appropriately.
|This news comes just weeks after the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA)’s ALARM survey warned that more than 24,400 miles of road have been identified as needing essential maintenance in the next year.||If your car’s been damage and it’s safe to do so, use a mobile phone camera to record the pothole from a few angles as evidence for a future possible claim, noting place and date.|
Simon Benson, director of motoring services at AA Cars, said, “With many local councils lacking the funds to adequately repair roads, the country’s highway system is deteriorating – which in turn puts drivers at risk and makes pothole-related damage to cars increasingly likely.
“Clearly, drivers are well aware of this problem, as we can see by their distinct lack of confidence in the state of British roads.
“You can minimise the risk of damage caused by potholes and other road-related issues by ensuring your tyres are inflated to the recommended pressure, as hitting a pothole with soft tyres is more likely to lead to wheel damage. You should be able to find the correct tyre inflation pressures either in your vehicle handbook, on the label inside the driver’s side door frame or inside the fuel cap.
“You should reduce your speed if you’re approaching a pothole as this will lessen the chance of doing significant damage to your tyres, wheels and suspension. Similarly, you should slow down if you’re approaching standing water as this may disguise a deep – and potentially dangerous – pothole.
“Drivers should also be careful when passing cyclists and motorcyclists on roads that are known to be in particularly poor condition, as these road users may have to take last minute evasive action and swerve to avoid hitting a pothole.
“If you’ve spotted a pothole, you should report this via www.gov.uk. If your vehicle has been damaged as a result of hitting a pothole or any other issued with the road, you may be eligible for compensation. Again, you should be able to find what organisation to contact for claims purposes via www.gov.uk – be prepared to explain exactly what the damage was, why you think they are responsible, the specific location where the incident occurred and the date and time the damage was caused.”