Potholes ‘wreak havoc’ as record number of cars suffer damage

More than 25,000 drivers were left stranded in 2015, up 24 per cent

Potholes ‘wreak havoc’ as record number of cars suffer damage
The largest number of pothole-related RAC callouts was in East Anglia. Image credit: Bigstock.

RAC patrols responded to 5,010 more incidents involving broken shock absorbers, damaged suspension parts and distorted wheels in 2015 compared to 2014.

The single biggest increase recorded was for damaged suspension springs which saw a 42 per cent rise from 13,101 in 2014 to 18,417 last year.

There were also ten per cent more incidents of damaged wishbones and a ten per cent rise in faults with vehicle subframes.

What it means for you

In an article for GW Views, WhoCanFixMyCar.com recently revealed that potholes can have a knock-on effect in the spring and advised garages to promote a ‘pothole diagnosis’.

The website told GW: “Potholes develop in the winter when rainwater enters cracks in the road and freezes, weakening the asphalt surface until it eventually disintegrates and becomes a pothole.”

Requests on WhoCanFixMyCar for suspension and steering repairs increase by around 75 per cent during the months of February, March and April compared to December.

Coil springs, shock absorbers and tracking all follow the same trend.

Worrying trend

RAC chief engineer David Bizley said: “Potholes can wreak havoc with vehicles and are therefore understandably hated by motorists.

“It is very worrying that our patrols have dealt with more pothole-related breakdowns in 2015 than they did the year before because we did not experience a particularly cold winter in either year.”

East Anglia saw the greatest number of pothole-related RAC call-outs with 4,547 but only ranked third across the UK in terms of percentage increase of these faults with 31 per cent.

The South East was the worst region overall with a 62 per cent rise as a result of 2,686 incidents.

The North East, however, was a close third on 30 per cent with 3,783 incidents.

Waiting list for repairs

A report published in November said that Britain has more than 31,000 potholes on the waiting list for repair, covering almost 12,000 miles of roads.

In his Autumn statement, Chancellor George Osborne announced that a £250 million fund had been set aside for pothole repairs over the next five years but experts say that it’s not enough.

Bizley added: “We know that a number of local authorities increased their spending in 2015 to try to catch up with some of the road maintenance and repair backlog but this evidence suggests that there is still some way to go.”

An RAC survey of around 1,500 members found that around 50 per cent believe their local roads had deteriorated in the last 12 months.

Have you noticed a rise in pothole related vehicle damage in recent years? Do you offer a specific ‘pothole’ service for your customers? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below or email [email protected].

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