by Matt Brady on 03 April 2014 via “Love Money” with thanks
AA have reported that 40% of surveyed members would described the roads in their neighbourhoods as ‘terrible’.
The AA’s latest Streetwatch survey has suggested the nation’s roads are being decimated by potholes.
40% of respondents to the survey reported that their local roads were in ‘terrible condition’, a big jump from the 29% who said the same thing in the last survey in October last year.
The study, which saw 23,911 AA members surveyed, also revealed a fall in those saying that their roads were in ‘excellent’ condition from 18% in October to just 11% in March.
These revelations follow the Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey, which suggested it would cost a staggering £12 billion to get Britain’s roads back into a decent condition for drivers.
The worst roads
It’s not just local roads that are bad; 34% described main roads as terrible compared to 24% in October, while ‘excellent’ ratings fell from 34% to 20%. Trunk road ratings have declined by 10% since October, while only 33% of those surveyed would rate the quality of motorways as ‘fair’, down from 41% before the winter.
According to research last year from Potholes.co.uk, motorists in the north of England and Scotland are more likely to suffer suspension failure due to the long-term effects of pothole damage.
With the apparent decrease in quality of road maintenance, you may have suffered damage to your vehicle.
A big jump in claims
The AA’s insurance arm have processed more than five times the number of claims relating to pothole damage from January 1st to March 12th, compared with November and December 2013.
Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, pointed out that it takes serious damage to justify making a claim, yet 1,700 cars have been sufficiently damaged already this year to make it worth claiming.
He added: “Insurers are taking an average of 173 insurance claims per week, compared with 33 per week over November and December last year, suggesting that the extreme weather has left the roads in a pretty poor state.”
What can you do to prevent pothole damage?
If you aren’t aware of a pothole in the road ahead, there’s not a lot you can do about it. But if you do see one, slow down (without braking too hard) and try to avoid it, without resorting to swerving as you risk losing control of your car and hitting something far worse.
Be particularly cautious when driving in the dark and when it’s wet as potholes will be even harder to spot.
It’s not just drivers that need to take care though. Motorcyclists and cyclists should be even more careful, as their vehicles are less stable than cars. Hitting a pothole or swerving to avoid one could result in a very serious and potentially fatal accident.
What should you do if you hit a pothole?
You might be able to pursue a claim against your local Highway Authority for repairs on your vehicle if you’re unlucky enough to suffer damage to your vehicle when driving over a pothole.
You cannot make a claim against the local authority if they were unaware of the pothole, so it’s important that if you see a pothole, you report it as soon as possible – the authorities should then act on the report. More information on reporting road defects can be found on the AA’s website.
Have you experienced pothole problems on your local roads? Do you think councils should be doing more to fix potholes? Let us know .