There are several unexpected effects of the COVID-19 lockdown, including the delay it caused to local services such as pothole repairs.
That has also caused a knock-on effect on drivers. The RAC reports that it received 1766 lockdown callouts caused by damaged road surfaces.
In fact, research has found that a third of all recorded vehicle damage at any time is caused by potholes.
The problem is good roads are needed more than ever as people get back to work.
A survey by road material manufacturer Roadmender Asphalt found that 65% don’t feel comfortable commuting on public transport, while 32% say poor quality roads make driving the most stressful part of their day.
What can hitting a pothole do to a car?
It can cause several wheel and tyre problems.
The initial impact can buckle wheels, cause cracks in a tyre or alloys, or tyre lumps, and knock out the wheel balancing and tracking.
In more severe cases, it could lead to drivers losing control of their vehicles and being involved in an accident.
If you must drive over one, make sure you hold the steering wheel correctly in the 10 to 2 position, to avoid losing control and avoid unnecessary braking which will put stress on the front suspension.
Inspect your car in a safe place if you fear it has been damaged.
Checking your tyre pressures regularly also helps to avoid damage.
To help you see and avoid potholes whole you drive, you should also:
Keep to a low speed on damaged road surfaces
Keep your distance from the car in front
Be extra aware in wet weather when puddles may hide potholes
If you fear your car has been damaged, you should take it to a garage and get it checked out.
Get your mechanic to verify any problems with your suspension, tracking, and wheel alignment.
What’s the financial situation?
Local authority finances are under huge strain because of the pandemic. Almost 150 councils are facing large deficits, with a total, combined shortfall of more than £3 billion, according to BBC reports.
The UK government has promised £500 million a year over the next five years to tackle road repairs, but many industry insiders fear this won’t fill the gap of years of underfunding.
What’s the answer?
One of the key survey findings was that 19% of British drivers would agree to paying 10% more council tax if the money could be specifically ring-fenced for road repairs.
Across England alone, that could mean an extra £2.5 billion in extra funding to combat potholes.
So, would you be willing to pay more council tax to get the potholes on your roads fixed?
Have you had an accident caused by a pothole which damaged your car? Take a look at our accident repair services.