Why are potholes such a problem for drivers?

With a general election on the horizon, one issue that is likely to be heard being raised on the doorsteps of many homes on campaign trails will be potholes. The bane of drivers and politicians alike, let’s take a look at what exactly potholes are and why they are such an issue.

What is a pothole?

Potholes are hollows or holes in the road caused by wear or sinking. Some potholes can grow very big. If the ground underneath is unstable, this opens up to something called a sinkhole. As potholes are left open to the elements and as roads continue to be used, potholes will grow bigger.

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What causes potholes?

Heavy road use, damage, poor road laying and shrinking under the surface can all lead to potholes. Rain and ice that slip into cracks and further destabilise the road structure can turn small cracks into craters relatively quickly.

In recent years, as councils have sought to make cutbacks, road maintenance has unfortunately been a casualty. The extreme weather caused by climate change has also taken its toll on Britain’s roads.

Why should drivers worry about potholes?

Vehicle damage

The AA estimates that UK councils have paid out more than £3.7m in compensation due to pothole damage; however, the overall cost is likely to be much higher, with many drivers either not claiming compensation or being refused. In some cases, insurance will not cover it and drivers can be left needing van hire Bristol from firms such as autolynecarvanrental.co.uk.

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In extreme circumstances, if you hit a pothole quickly or at a bad angle, you could potentially crash your car if the suspension or steering are damaged. Drivers should take extra care on roads with known potholes.

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