The state of the nation’s roads is often headline-hitting news - and with good reason. Potholes can cause a huge amount of damage to vehicles and they have the potential to lead to accidents if drivers go over them awkwardly or too quickly, so it’s no wonder that road users are often up in arms about the increasing deterioration of tarmac around the country.
Potholes form when moisture gets into the cracks in the road, cracks that then expand in freezing conditions. These holes then get bigger each time someone drives over them, damaging the tarmac deep down.
The problem then increases during bad weather and repeated freeze-thaw and wet-dry cycles, something that is exacerbated by the approach to repairs.
Councils often adopt a piecemeal strategy with potholes, repairing each one individually, rather than resurfacing roads more cohesively, which means potholes reappear more quickly than they would do otherwise.
For drivers, going over a pothole can cause all sorts of damage to their vehicles, affecting the wheels and tyres. Issues include cracks, lumps in the tyre, buckled wheels and cracked alloys, all of which can be time-consuming and costly to sort out.
Driving over holes in the road can also have an effect on the tracking and wheel balancing, which can make cars dangerous to drive.
When out and about on the roads, you can keep yourself and others safe by leaving sufficient distance between you and the car in front, by keeping an eye on your speed and going over potholes slowly and by not braking when you go over a hole (which can put more stress on the front suspension).
You can also consider reporting potholes to Fix My Street or to National Highways if you find a road that’s particularly problematic.
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