Saturday, 26 January 2013
As the winter snow thaws, and the ice recedes, a new hazard reveals itself… Potholes.
It seems that around the country, more and more pot holes appear each year. And potholes are becoming a major problem. Its a major factor of axle and suspension failure which costs the British motorist and estimated £2.8 billion every year. It's also costing authorities around £50 million in compensation claims.
How do potholes 'appear'? Most are formed due to fatigue of the road surface or even poor re-surfacing prior to the winter months. The surface may fracture and crack over the extreme cold temperatures and chucks of road surface are worked loose and even picked out by continued wheel loads. Its worsen when water gets between the cracks, freezes and loosens the surface further, and thus forming a pothole.
How can motorist avoid potholes? Look ahead and assess the road, slow down in particular, poor areas where multiple potholes appear. Steer around them if at all possible, if safe to do so. Of course it's not always possible to avoid them. So what happens if you hit a deep or large pothole? First off, think about how your vehicle responds after the impact. Has something happened to the suspension? is the vehicle steering correctly? If in doubt, have it checked as soon as possible. If damaged has occurred that makes the vehicle behave badly. Stop and contact your garage or breakdown service. If tyres or rims have been damaged, fit the spare - and have the damaged repaired as soon as possible. Do not drive further if safety is compromised. On busy dual carriageways or motorways, if safety is a concern, contact the highways agency. Not only for your safety, but for others too.
What can you do if you know about potholes in your area? The council has a contact numbers and email addresses, potholes.co.uk will put you in touch with your local council. And if you are an unfortunate victim of pothole damage to your vehicle, compensation claims could be possible. Again potholes.co.uk may be able to help.
Posted by Graham Aylard-Poxon