By Alex Kapadia
With potholes estimated to cost motorists £320 million every year with replacement tyres and other vital car repairs, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has issued advice on how to deal with them.
The guidance comes in the wake of the great thaw and the cold snap which is causing even more potholes to appear across the UK.
Neil Greig, IAM Director of Policy and Research, said: “Potholes form and get worse after icy spells as water gets into small cracks in the roads, expanding as it freezes and forcing the tarmac apart.
“For this reason, roads will increasingly start to show signs of damage as the weather warms up.
“As well as worrying about your vehicle, with potholes being a major cause of suspension failure, drivers should be particularly conscious of cyclists and motorcyclists trying to get past a pothole and give them a wide berth. They are entitled to a wobble and would appreciate not having a motorist attempting to overtake just as they avoid a hole in the road.”
Other advice to motorists includes:
* Leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front so that you can see the road surface before you drive or ride on it
* If you do hit a pothole accidentally, make a point of checking your tyres once you’ve stopped. Check the inner as well as the outer tyre wall, which may have been damaged as a result.
* Avoid suddenly pulling out to avoid a hole – you might discover that there is a motorcyclist trying to get past you, or encounter an oncoming vehicle.
* Bikers and cyclists need to look well ahead and change direction early so they have time to deal with the holes, and so that their movements don’t cause surprise to other road users.
* Potholes tend to reappear in the same place again and again as previous repairs fail – remember where you saw one and expect it to be there again.
* Be extra vigilant on roads with lots of lorries and also around bus stops. Extra pressure is put on the road surface wherever heavy vehicles stop, start or turn.
Mr Greig added: “Always make a point of reporting a pothole to the local authority as an early repair could prevent a future accident, although councils are reluctant to carry out permanent repairs until the winter conditions subside.”