In the past few months there have been more car insurance claims due to accidents caused by ice or flooding on the roads. However, it has recently been revealed that the increase in cold and wet weather has also led to more potholes on the roads which are causing damages to vehicles. Potholes are caused when water gets into cracks in the road, freezes, and then expands making the cracks even bigger. Roads that have a high amount of traffic also get bigger potholes as they wear down faster, and highways companies are not fixing them before they become large enough to cause substantial damages to cars.
It has been reported by Halfords Autocentres that British motorists are paying one billion pounds a year due to damages caused by potholes, and they predict that the situation will only get worse. Director of Halfords Autocentres Roy Carlin said: “Even hitting a small pothole can easily damage wheels, tyres and affect steering alignment but serious suspension damage is becoming a more common occurrence.”
“The problems are exacerbated by three factors: the inability of local authorities to keep pace with highway maintenance; an aging vehicle fleet more susceptible to damage as drivers keep cars for longer; and component complexity, which drives up the cost of individual repairs.” The research also shows that eight million motorists will also suffer damage due to potholes, and that steering and suspension are the worst affected by potholes and cause drivers to pay out around £135 per year.
It is more likely for drivers to experience pothole damage if driving in the North East of the country, as drivers have paid out £181 million pounds to fix damages last year, whilst the Midlands is a close second where drivers paid £175 million. Wales is the least affected area in the UK for potholes due to the fact that there is less traffic on the roads, with drivers only spending £53 million a year.