Drivers warned of huge £10,000 fines for hitting a pothole
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A combination of heavy rainfall and regular freezes is having its toll on the country’s roads, with many motorists believing surfaces are in a worse condition than this time last year. And it could spell disaster for drivers with the increased risk of damage to their vehicles and the legal consequences that come with failing to keep them in top shape.
Andrew Jervis, CEO of ClickMechanic, warned motorists of the dangers they face when driving over a pothole.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “Motorists up and down the UK are saying our roads have more potholes than usual this winter, and this poses a number of dangers.
“Hitting a pothole can create a range of problems for a vehicle such as a punctured tyre, bent or cracked wheel and damaged suspension.
“The effect of a collision isn’t always immediately obvious and can take a little time to become obvious, so drivers could be hitting the road without even knowing there’s a problem.”
Potholes have been described as a “notorious menace” to drivers during colder months but aren’t always noticeable until it’s too late, especially if filled with water.
It is estimated that pothole claims make up around three percent of all claims submitted, but are significantly more costly than the average claim.
Recent AA statistics show that more than 1.5 million potholes were reported on local roads alone between April 2018 and June 2021.
As a result of this, UK motorists pay £1billion annually due to damage caused by potholes across the UK.
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Similarly, the RAC went out to an average of 20 breakdowns a day between October 2022 and the end of the year.
Around 86 percent of drivers have had to deliberately steer to avoid potholes over the last year, a figure that rises to 90 percent in rural areas.
Most motorists (55 percent) also rated pothole repairs in their local areas as “poor” or “very poor”.
Mr Jervis added: “Failing to have all four tyres in a roadworthy condition not only risks an accident, but can leave the driver at risk of a £2,500 fine per tyre as well as penalty points.
“It’s important to be aware of the potential presence of potholes and take greater care while driving during winter.
“If you do accidentally hit one then make sure your tyres are in good condition every time you take to the road.”
Experts say this winter has been characterised by rapid freeze and thaw cycles thanks to extreme weather, making many of the cavities even bigger and more dangerous.
West Lothian Council, in Scotland, revealed it fixed three times as many in January than normal, completing some 700 repairs compared to a normal month of around 210.
Motorists are encouraged to report the presence of potholes to their local authority so they can be fixed.
And it is possible to claim compensation if one damages your vehicle by writing to the council with details of the incident, proof of the damage and copies of a quote or invoice for the repair.
It is the responsibility of either the local council authority or Highways England to mend potholes.
However, this hasn’t stopped people from taking matters into their own hands, including musical legend Sir Rod Stewart.
In 2022, he posted a short clip to his Instagram showing a small group of people shovelling gravel into a road covered in potholes.
In the video, Sir Rod said: “It’s been like this for ages. My Ferrari can’t go through here at all, so me and the boys thought we’d come and do it ourselves.”
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