The true cost of the pothole epidemic blighting UK roads and wrecking tyres

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Motorists and local authorities are bracing themselves for the impact – physical and financial – of the damage caused by potholes on the UK roads!

Potholes cause extensive damage to tyres

Apparently, councils face pothole repairs on every eight miles of road and there are an estimated 31,000 dents that need to be filled.

Added to this is the fact local authorities have already been hit with a £1.6 million compensation bill for drivers who damaged their cars on 12,000 miles of pothole-plagued roads between 2014-15.

According to the study carried out by LV=Road Rescue, the figure could be even higher as only just over half of drivers (53 per cent) know that they can claim for pothole damage to their cars.

The research also revealed that one in seven motorists claim they had damaged their car as a result of driving on bad road surfaces in the past year, with the most common problems being damage to tyres, suspension and wheel rims which cost, on average, £267 to fix.

Selwyn Fernandes, managing director of LV= Road Rescue, said: “Britain’s pothole epidemic is costing councils millions in compensation, but unfortunately it doesn’t look as though things are improving.”

Potholes are an increasing problem facing all road users, not only do they cause serious damage to vehicles, especially to tyres, they also present a potential safety hazard to cyclists, motorbike riders and even pedestrians when vehicles swerve to avoid the hazard or lose control as a result of the pothole.

Potholes are formed when moisture from rain or snow gets into existing cracks in the road and expands when it freezes. When the ice melts it leaves a gap which can cave in as vehicles drive over the road surface forming a pothole. Potholes are most likely to form as a result of repetitive freeze-thaw and wet-dry cycles.

Despite the efforts of many local authorities to deal with the problem, most drivers haven’t noticed road surfaces getting smoother, with just six per cent of those quizzed for the survey admitting they thought roads had improved over the past 12 months.

Motorists who hit a pothole are advised to stop and assess any potential damage as quickly as possible, checking for cracks, lumps or bulges. The stress caused by the impact could result in tyre sidewall damage which shows itself as a bulge on the wall of the tyre and could result in tyre failure or a blowout while driving.

For more information about potholes, the potential damage they can cause and whether it can be repaired, etyres has compiled a comprehensive pothole information guide.

Denna Bowman, Head Office

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