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Jan 15

Pothole Problems

Posted by:AutoMoney

We all know how frustrating it is when we notice (often too late!) a huge pot hole in the road. Cue a bumpy ride and genuine concern for our vehicles – and sometimes a rant about how road tax money is spent! 

Every year, more and more potholes are developing. This is due to moisture getting into cracks the road and then freezing, which causes the moisture to expand. This repeat process makes the road surface very fragile and as more and more road traffic passes over the fragile area, the problem area continues to grow – making a pot hole. Or an existing pot hole bigger!

Alongside the current weather cycle of freeze then thaw, and wet to dry, pot holes are due to be a big part of the motorist’s future.

But it isn’t just weather that is causing pot hole problems. 

Many councils are without the funds they used to have as part of widespread budget cuts meaning that more and more councils and districts are using patches to cover pot holes. We have all encountered these particular patch jobs; instead of resurfacing the whole road, a patch is laid over the pot hole in question, temporarily providing respite. However, these patches are applied quickly and sometimes even in wet conditions, meaning the road hasn’t actually been fixed. More often than not, these patches break and the pot holes reappear – often bigger than they were in the first place!

Pothole Driving Tips

Watch the road: Look out for potholes in the road ahead of you. In wet conditions, you need to be particularly aware of potholes that may be disguised by puddles. Make sure that you keep your distance from the car in front so that you can see the road ahead of you.

Don’t Speed!: Keep to the speed limit; hitting a pothole at speed is likely to cause more damage to your car. Another top tip is to avoid heavy braking – by braking heavily on a pot hole, the car tilts forward into the dip of the pothole, applying more pressure to the suspension of the car.

Care: If you do have to drive directly over a pothole, do so with care and allow the wheel to freely roll through the hole – do not sharply turn. Ensure that you hold the steering wheel in the correct position, keeping your hands at 10 and 2 in order to keep control of the vehicle.

Car Safety: If you want to check your car after driving through a pothole, or need to collect something that has fallen off, such as a wheel trim, ensure that you stop in a safe location and that you are visible to oncoming traffic. As with normal car health, make sure that your tyre pressure and general tyre health is as it should be at after travelling on roads with a number of potholes. 

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