Have you ever been driving along after the snow and ice have cleared when all of a sudden, you hit a pothole the size of a suitcase and yell something almost certainly unrepeatable? You’re not on your own. Potholes cost UK motorists an eye-watering £730 million every year in car repairs.
Not only do these huge gaps in our roads puncture tens of thousands of tyres, they buckle expensive alloy wheels and twist the vehicle’s steering geometry leading not only to further cost, but rendering some vehicles unsafe to drive. Even though potholes make driving even more hazardous especially in built up areas where concentration is hard enough, there’s nothing much you can do except be extra careful at this time of year.
But what happens if you and your vehicle suffers damage – claim? Good luck with that because unless you have clear evidence the pothole has been there for some time, it will be a tough argument to win. Under something called Section 58 of the Highways Act, this allows Councils to prove if they have taken reasonable care to highway maintenance and if they inspected the roads within the last 10 days, they are clear.
Potholes are caused when the ground temperature fluctuates just above and below freezing point (as is the case in the first part of 2018) when it is possible for the hole to appear as quickly as overnight. The only advice is, to slow down, pay particular attention to the immediate road in front and be on your guard and ready to steer the car around it.