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Banish the pothole blues

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Banish the pothole blues

With pothole-related breakdowns at a 5-year-high, they can be an unavoidable part of driving these days, causing damage to vehicles and having a knock-on effect on your finances if your car needs urgent repairs. This can especially be true on rural roads that are re-surfaced less often or at higher speeds on busier roads.

Last October, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak set out how £8.3bn of promised funding will be used to tackle what he called the "scourge of potholes".

Below are a few of top tips from IAM RoadSmart, helping to keep the roads safer and minimise costly repairs

What damage can potholes cause?

* Tyre damage, wear, and punctures.
* Suspension damage
* Wheel rim damage
* Steering misalignment
* Damage to shock absorbers
* How can drivers avoid pothole damage?

1) Leave a bigger gap between you and the car in front. This will give you a greater chance of spotting an approaching pothole.
Watch for the movement of other vehicles. Other drivers may give clues to an approaching pothole, such as slowing down or manoeuvring around them.

2) Look for puddles. Ice can cause potholes to grow larger, and in warmer months, deep puddles can mean a pothole lies below.
Avoid sharp braking if going over a pothole; this can cause more damage to your vehicle.

3) Hold your steering wheel firmly if you do have to go through a pothole, this will avoid the pothole taking you off-course, make sure you go as slowly as possible.

4) Ensure tyres are inflated properly. Having too much or too little air in your tyres can cause more damage when going over a pothole.

How to spot pothole damage

1) Tyre sidewalls that are bulging or cracking can be caused by potholes. Have your tyres checked by a specialist, as they could need replacing.

2) Wheel alignment. Hitting a pothole at high speeds can cause your vehicle’s wheels to become misaligned. If it’s pulling to the left or right, it’s worth getting the alignment checked.

3) Wheel rims. Check the rims for dents or other damage, especially on modern vehicles with aluminium rims.

4) Any chips in your windscreen can be made worse by potholes, causing larger cracks that will need treatment or a full-windscreen replacement.

Nicholas Lyes, Director of Policy, and Standards at IAM RoadSmart, said
: “Potholes cause untold misery for drivers and riders and are a major road safety hazard that have caused untold amounts of damage and inconvenience, over the last five years. The DfT’s funding announcement is a welcome and sizeable amount of spending from the Government, and it should give local authorities the cash injection needed to bring road surfaces up to an adequate standard."

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Rebecca Dundon

Press contact Press Officer Media Enquiries 020 8996 9777

Nicholas Lyes

Press contact Policy and Standards Director

Harriet Hernando

Press contact PR & Press Manager 07711850639

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At IAM RoadSmart we make better drivers and riders. As the UK’s largest road safety charity, formed in 1956, we’ve spent more than 60 years making our roads safer by improving driver and rider skills through coaching and education. If you are interested in receiving additional driving and riding tips, journey blogs and information on all things relating to safer roads, or if you want to try your hand at becoming an advanced driver or rider sign up to become a member

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