UK’s potholes are causing more than just damage

After the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, recently announced a £200 million road-fixing project focussed on the UK’s ‘Pothole Plague’, just how bad is the problem?

Over the last few decades, the UK has been beset with a growing pothole problem. You can almost guarantee you will encounter several, even on a short car journey, often not being able to see or avoid them before it’s too late. Many motorists are angry that more is not being done to combat this issue.

The funds for this latest project will initially be distributed to local governments around the UK, which means that local roads, rather than motorways, will be targeted. The RAC is sceptical that the funding is enough to make a big difference, given the scale of the problem and that many roads are so dilapidated that councils ideally need to resurface the roads rather than just patch them up.

Potholes are created by high rainfall followed by below-freezing temperatures, a regular Winter occurrence in the UK. Water below the surface of the road freezes, inducing expanding and contracting, subsequently weakening the surface of the road. Vehicles driving over these areas cause pieces of the road to become loose and break away. As roads become more trafficked and weather conditions worsen, potholes will become bigger, more dangerous and more prevalent.

Car wheels and tyres need an adequately smooth surface to roll on, otherwise, they may easily become damaged. Potholes can also wreak havoc on suspension systems. New research has shown that 32% of motorists have had their vehicles damaged by potholes and 10% of breakdowns are as a direct result of coming into contact with a pothole. Not only this, but they can increase the chances of having an accident.

While it goes without saying that we all need to be alert and aware of our surroundings whilst driving, it’s always a good idea, especially in recent times, to be hyper-vigilant of debris and potholes regardless of weather conditions or the type of road. Even though it may be easy sometimes to manoeuvre around a pothole, this is not always the case and often hitting one is unavoidable.

So, how do you prevent yourself from hitting a pothole or minimising the damage if you do?

  • Drive slowly and steadily as hitting a pothole at speed can seriously damage your vehicle.
  • Be very aware of puddles in the road especially during and after rainfall – they may be covering deep potholes.
  • Keep a firm grip on the steering wheel so that if you hit a pothole, you can quickly steady your vehicle.
  • Follow the 2-second rule and keep a 2-second distance from the car in front to allow you time to react if you hit a pothole.
  • Try and keep off the brakes if you do hit a pothole as it could cause damage to the suspension. Instead, slow down before you reach the pothole.
  • Maintain your vehicle regularly, check tyre pressures are correct and change your tyres when the tread becomes thin.
  • If you do hit a pothole and you think your vehicle might be damaged, get it checked by a garage as soon as possible and keep yourself and others safe on the road.
  • Report potholes to your local council, especially if you come across a particularly deep one. It could save many others from damage or worse.

If you have been injured in a collision with another vehicle on the road, whether it was caused by a pothole or not, and the accident wasn’t your fault, we may be able to help you get compensation.

At Simpkins & Co we appreciate that if you’ve been injured, it will be a very traumatic time for you. We’ll discuss with you the process of making a claim, how we can help and what are the funding options. We can nearly always do ‘no win, no fee’ with personal injury matters, which is risk-free for you. We pride ourselves on being friendly, approachable and compassionate. We will arrange a free consultation with you to discuss your case further. If it would be more convenient for us to meet you at home, we are happy to arrange this.

There is no ‘hard sell’ and no pressure or expectation that you will want to proceed with a claim. We know that you may want to think it over and discuss the options with your loved ones. If you choose not to proceed, there is absolutely no obligation to go ahead with a claim. You have 3 years from the date of the accident to make a claim.

We can also take over a case if another solicitor is already dealing with it, but you’re unhappy with their representation.

We have many years of experience in successfully handling all types of personal injury compensation claims, not just RTA’s. We are long-standing accredited members of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL). If you have further questions, we are more than happy to answer those before you decide whether to proceed.

If you think you may have a claim, call our Lyndhurst office on 01425 275555 or email All enquiries are strictly confidential.




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