With the harsh wintry conditions the UK has been experiencing and heavy snowfall before Christmas, many councils should have already started to prepare for extensive pothole repairs.
However, due to huge budget cuts, road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is concerned about the safety of road users as we move into “pothole season”, and is warning drivers to take more care on the roads.
David Williams, of GEM Motoring Assist, said: “Councils are working under severe budget constraints and we believe priorities may be quite different this year when it comes to dealing with issues such as potholes. It would not come as a surprise if local councils take a lot longer to deal with the problem, so we are encouraging drivers to stay alert and where possible take it upon themselves to report serious potholes.”
He went on: “We conducted a survey last year that revealed half of UK drivers had experienced a crash or near miss while swerving to avoid a pothole; a worrying statistic. Often motorists will not spot a pothole until it is too late and, as our survey showed, swerve out of the way, which could result in a crash, or drive into it causing damage to their car. Potholes are not simply just a nuisance, they are a massive road safety issue and while councils need to take swift action in alleviating this nationwide problem, it is also important for motorists to play their part in reporting potholes.”
GEM Motoring Assist has developed its top tips to ensure motorists are as safe as possible during “pothole season”.
1. Always be aware of dangerous potholes on your route home and in your area and, if necessary, find an alternative route.
2. Remember to keep your distance from the car in front. Motorists will often break suddenly if they have spotted a pothole too late, so ensure you are far enough away to slow down safely.
3. Make sure you stick to the speed limit and drive even slower than normal on smaller roads and residential streets where potholes may be prevalent. Hitting a pothole at speed will cause much more damage to your vehicle.
4. Never swerve to avoid a pothole; always slow down or stop completely if necessary checking there are no cars close behind you – drive over it slowly or manoeuvre around it when it is safe to do so.
5. Remember help your local authority and report any dangerous potholes that are causing problems in the area.