Motoring company the AA has issued a call to have poor road surfaces and potholes included in the hazard perception part of the driving test because of how much damage they can actually do to vehicles.
Given that figures from the Asphalt Industry Alliance show that one in five local roads throughout England and Wales is in poor condition thanks to big funding deficits that mean councils can’t repair them, it seems that this may well be an essential step.
According to Metro, the AA is also keen to have advice included on what to do when you encounter a pothole added to the Highway Code.
A driving instructor survey found that most have broken down while teaching at least once in the last year because of damage sustained by driving over potholes, with many drivers now having to adapt their lessons in order to avoid roads that are rife with such issues.
Edmund King, AA president, was quoted by the news source as saying: “It is a sad indictment of our poor road conditions that instructors are having to adapt their lessons to avoid potholed roads. More troubling is the fact that lessons and tests are being abandoned because of pothole-related roads. This is damaging to learners’ confidence and to instructors, whose livelihoods depend on having a fit-for-purpose road network and an undamaged car.”
How can potholes damage your car
Hitting a pothole awkwardly can result in a series of different wheel and tyre problems. The initial impact on your car can cause cracks or lumps in the tyre, buckled wheels and cracked alloys, as well as knocking out the tracking and the wheel balancing. And don’t forget that there’s also the possibility that driving over one could see you lose control of your car, increasing your chances of an accident.
If your vehicle is damaged because of a pothole, park your car somewhere safe and write down all the important details: the location of the hole, its size, shape and depth, and any surrounding features of the pothole. If you have your phone with you, take a photo as evidence.
See if there were any witnesses to the incident and get the details of them if you can as this can help if you need to make an insurance claim later down the line.
Adjusting your driving is a good idea at the moment, since it seems that councils are rendered unable to fix potholes on certain roads because of budget constraints. Drive over the holes with care, slowing down as appropriate. Freewheeling over them is a good idea and try not to apply your brakes when going over one.
Driving slowly will mean you are less likely to cause damage to your car and you should check your tyre pressure regularly so you know they’re properly inflated at all times.
If you do hit a pothole and need bodywork repairs in Hillingdon, get in touch with us today.