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Potholes Now an Even Deeper Menace, says IAM

Thu, 21 Jan 2010

With potholes estimated to cost motorists £320 million every year, and more potholes than ever appearing with the thaw of the recent cold-snap, the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) has issued advice on how to deal with them.


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," added Mr Greig.


More pothole advice from the IAM:

•        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

"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," Mr Greig added.


Honest John adds, "The greatest menace is flooded potholes. What looks like a puddle could be so deep it rips your wheel off. The best pothole reporting mechanisme are and , both of which report the pothole to the relevant council for you and, more importantly, keep a record that the pothole is reported. If a council fails to repair a reported pothole in reasonable time it is 100% liable for any damage that pothole causes."


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