Potholes Causing Mayhem For UK’s Tyres

Lives of motorists endangered as too many potholes are ignored

Further to a damning report last year which revealed damage to vehicles from potholes and bad road surfaces amounted to £320 million in 2006, 2007 showed little improvement according to figures released by the AA motoring organisation last weekend. The latest statistics show that 12% or 120,000 out of all of the UK’s one million potholes are not being filled by local councils, which means that repair bills are now soaring every year because of the lack of maintenance by government authorities. Since 1996, the number of claims has soared by 78% in London alone, by 42% in England and by 70% in Wales.

This presents a worrying situation for motorists says TyreSafe as there are signs that a turnaround in the level of maintenance of the UK’s roads is still a long way off. It is estimated by the Local Government Association that it would need another £200m a year to reach the target the government has set for filling in potholes by 2010.

Motorists are most at risk from potholes in hours of darkness or in periods of reduced visibility, with added dangers for those who are more exposed on motorcycles. Frequently, damage to the tyre is not immediately visible, and therefore motorists may be unaware of this until a potentially catastrophic failure occurs, thus putting the vehicle occupants and other road users at risk. Furthermore, at high speed, alignment of the wheel may be affected, thereby promoting uneven tyre wear and the potential for a tyre blow-out.

Whilst it should be common practice for motorists, TyreSafe says that one method of reducing damage to tyres caused by potholes is to maintain them at the levels of pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. If any level of damage is suspected, motorists should visit their nearest dealer or tyre retailer for their tyres to be examined for any faults.

31 January 2008 Staff

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