Not only does winter bring icy morning roads and fog, but also the dreaded return of potholes…
They are an enemy to the road, as well as your tyres and alloys. Thanks to spells of above average rains interspersed with plummeting temperatures this winter, they are also on the increase.
According to the RAC, in the last three months of 2022, pothole-related callouts increased by 23% compared to the previous 3-months. Between October and the end of the year, their breakdown crews attended more the 1,800 faults due to damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs and distorted wheels. That’s equivalent to 20 breakdowns a day, their highest number of pothole related incidents since 2019.
How are potholes formed?
The science behind potholes is fairly simple, they are formed in conditions where heavy rain and freezing temperatures are present.
Essentially, water enters cracks in the road, and then expands in freezing temperatures, causing the road surface to crumble. After this is repeated a few times, potholes appear.
RAC’s head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes commented:
“The wet weather we’ve had both before and after the coldest start to winter in 12 years in December is the perfect recipe for potholes to start peppering the roads. We fear that by the Spring, drivers will be plagued by a plethora of potholes across the country’s roads, which makes journeys uncomfortable and frustration, or worst still, could lead to very expensive garage repair bills - the last thing anyone wants in a cost of living crisis.”
Apart from being a nuisance to motorists, potholes have a dramatic economic impact. Last year, WhatCar? reported that councils and road authorities paid out more than £12 million in compensation to motorists between 2018 – 2021 for damage caused by poor road surfaces and potholes. Their investigation also revealed that motorists logged more than 145,000 compensation claims for vehicle damage caused by badly maintained roads during that period.
The Department for Transport’s (DfT) latest annual report suggests that a third of all local roads in England are now in urgent need of repair or maintenance. Responding to the report, several news sources point to inadequate “patching” of potholes by cash-strapped councils. They also highlight growing fears that as much as £500m could be taken out of the government’s £2.5bn Potholes Fund, as resources are diverted to other cost of living issues.
So what can we do to guard ourselves against the perils of potholes?
Check your tyre pressure
It’s important to ensure your tyre pressures are correct and not underinflated or overinflated. Correct tyre pressure will help you reduce the risks of damage, such as punctures or blowouts, caused by potholes.
Consider alloy wheel insurance
Alloy wheels look fantastic but can easily be dented or fatally damaged by the worst of potholes. Rather than dreading a hefty alloy repair bill, MotorEasy offer a fantastic way which to keep them pristine! MotorEasy’s Alloy Wheel insurance protects against damage caused by kerbing, potholes and road debris. You’ll also get a free vehicle health check and inspection work worth £60!
Consider tyre insurance
Want to save a small fortune? Whether you have normal, performance or run flat tyres, just a bit of bad luck can cause them to become a financial painput them out of action. To save on the cost of motoring, MotorEasy will help you safely get back on the road for less! MotorEasy’s tyre insurance covers accidental damage from potholes, kerbing, road debris and punctures, as well as vandalism and sidewall damage.
Slow down and take more care on the roads
This is especially important to do in wet, dark and windy conditions. When driving, give yourself the space and time to spot upcoming potholes or puddles in the road that might contain a hidden crater. This is It’s especially important to do in wet, dark and windy conditions.
Protect yourself in case of breakdowns
Get peace of mind in an emergency with MotorEasy’s breakdown cover. With 80% of breakdowns repaired at the roadside, MotorEasy’s 24/7 rescue will get you back on the road in no time, and you don’t have to pay an excess or call out charge! Get breakdown cover today.