Potholes remain a serious problem on UK roads. A study carried out by the AA found that 72% of driver admit to having swerved due to potholes on the road. Over 25,000 AA members were polled for their thoughts on potholes. Whilst many claimed to have swerved, only 20% had ever reported a pothole.
The AA survey shows exactly how underreported potholes are. The survey found that people aren’t reporting potholes but it also found that the reason in 41% of cases is they don’t know how to report them.
Many authorities around the UK have built-in pothole reporting systems on their websites. The AA suggests all drivers should be using them whenever they encounter a pothole. If you happen to drive over a bad pothole and your vehicle suffers damage then you have every right to claim compensation.The claim would be made against the local highway authority. However, if you do not report the pothole you may not be able to claim as there is less evidence to support your case.
Whilst it is responsibility of the highway authorities to deal with potholes, drivers can also do their bit. This can help reduce the risk of damage to vehicles. It will also minimise the dangers that come from swerving such as potential road traffic accidents.
Potholes: A Serious Concern
Speaking on behalf of the AA, their president Edmund King commented: “Despite…promises that Britain’s pothole epidemic would be reversed it remains a serious concern for drivers. We know from our research that two out of five drivers have suffered pot-hole damage in the last two years which is shocking.
“It is clear local authorities need to do more to inform drivers of their reporting systems and policies. It is also important for drivers to bear in mind that they can do their bit too by reporting potholes.”
Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance Survey 2016
The 2016 Asphalt Industry Alliance Survey of local authorities found that the time it would take to bring roads around the country to a ‘reasonable condition’ has risen by 12 months on the last year. This is despite over 2 million potholes being filled. The report found that fixing the roads in England and Wales would cost £11.8bn and would take 14 years. It also found that it would take over a decade to just clear the backlog of repairs. Shockingly the report showed that £28.4 million was paid in road user compensation claims in the last 12 months.
Potholes can and do cause accidents. They can cause drivers to behave recklessly and result in damage to vehicles. The government does need to do more but drivers can also play their part and report any potholes they pass.