The potholes on Britain’s roads are presenting potential safety hazards and causing vehicle damage. As moisture in the cracks of the road freeze, it expands and causes potholes. The structure of the road is damaged further when cars drive over the potholes. The holes become bigger as the structure below the surface layer is damaged. Adverse weather conditions such as wet-dry and freeze-thaw cycles, that repeatedly occur, make the situation worse.

A number of tyre and wheel problems can result from hitting a pothole. Wheels can crack or buckle, and lumps can develop in the tyres from the initial impact. Also, alloys crack and wheel balancing and tracking are misaligned. Potholes have caused drivers to lose control of a vehicle and become involved in accidents. Here are some top tips to help you avoid potholes...

Keep a Watchful Eye

By watching for potholes, you protect yourself and your vehicle. During wet weather, potholes may be hidden beneath puddles. In order to see upcoming potholes, allow sufficient distance between your vehicle and others. Keep your speed under control. Potholes cause more damage when struck at high speeds than slower speeds. Before avoiding potholes by changing course, be aware of other traffic or pedestrians.

Safe Driving Manoeuvres

As a pothole line of defence, check tyre pressure regularly. You can find the recommended tyre pressure on the label found on the driver side door post or frame. The vehicle handbook also contains tyre pressure information.

Hold the steering wheel at the 10 and 2 positions to keep from losing control when driving on a road with potholes. If driving over a pothole is necessary, let the wheel roll freely. Braking tilts the vehicle forward and places stress on the front suspension.

Checking for Damage

Before inspecting a car for damage or recovering lost parts such as a hub-cap, stop in a location that is safe. If damage is suspected, have a local garage check your vehicle. Have them verify wheel and tracking alignment, suspension, and tyres.

Avoiding Future Potholes

Reporting potholes may protect you or other drivers from future damage. All councils have websites used to report potholes. The website can be used to find the council responsible for a particular road. Notify authorities as quickly as possible.

A car damaged by potholes may make the driver eligible for compensation if a pothole has been previously reported. It can be a costly and time-consuming process that may involve legal aid. A driver has to weigh the pros and cons.

We hope this article will help you to avoid these natural menaces of the road. If you have any questions, simply tweet us @MotorRange using the hashtag #MRPotholes.

Until next time…

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