Potholes are an increasing problem on Britain’s roads causing damage to vehicles and presenting a potential safety hazard. That is according to the RAC.
Potholes: The Damage
According to the RAC’s tyre partner, ATS Euromaster, hitting a pothole can cause a number of wheel and tyre problems. Initial impact on a vehicle can cause buckled wheels, cracks, lumps in the tyre, cracked alloys and it can knock out the tracking and wheel balancing. A recent report found that a third of all recorded vehicle damage is as a result of potholes.
In more severe cases, it could lead to drivers losing control of their vehicles and being involved in an accident.
Advice to drivers
The following useful tips may help if you are driving on roads with potholes:
- Keep your eyes peeled - Protect yourself and your car by keeping an eye out for potholes and watching your speed, particularly in wet weather when deep potholes may be hidden beneath puddles.
- Maintain your distance - Leave plenty of distance between your car and the vehicle in front so you can see potholes in advance.
- Stay alert - Be aware of other traffic or pedestrians on the road before changing course to avoid a pothole.
- Watch your speed - Striking potholes at higher speeds can cause more damage to your vehicle.
- Avoid unnecessary braking – Try not to apply your brakes when driving over a pothole. When you brake you tilt the vehicle forward placing more stress on the front suspension.
- Drive over potholes with care - If you have to drive over a pothole, allow the wheel to roll freely into the hole.
- Hold the steering wheel correctly - Make sure you are holding the steering wheel properly – ‘10 to 2’ hands position – when driving on a road with potholes – failure to do so may mean you lose control of your vehicle.
- Recovering lost parts - If your vehicle sustains damage while travelling, such as a lost hubcap, ensure you stop in a safe location before attempting to recover it.
- Safety first - If you wish to inspect any damage to your car, ensure that you stop in a safe place.
- Get checked out - If you have hit a pothole and suspect your car has sustained damage, we recommend you get the vehicle checked out by your local garage. Ask them to verify if there could be any other issues such as problems with tracking and wheel alignment, tyres or suspension.
- Check tyre pressure regularly –checking your tyre pressure regularly to ensure safety as a line of defence against potholes. Recommended tyre pressures can be found in your vehicle's handbook and on the label located inside the driver’s side door frame or doorpost.