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Pothole-related breakdowns are accelerating

Road pothole - RAC

RAC patrols attended nearly a quarter more breakdowns where potholes were likely to blame in the last three months of 2022 compared to the previous three months, according to new RAC figures.

Released to mark today’s National Pothole Day show, the data show’s the motoring services company’s roadside staff went out to an average of 20 breakdowns a day between October and the end of the year – a total of more than 1,800. Faults included damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs and distorted wheels.

This was up from 16 a day over the previous three months (1,462 in total) and was the highest number of pothole-related breakdowns seen in the fourth quarter of the year since 2019.

The threat of a plethora of potholes appearing over the next few months is now very real indeed given how much rain there has been either side of December’s sub-zero temperatures. These are the perfect conditions for creating potholes, as water makes its way into cracks which then expand when it freezes, causing the road surface to crumble.

Research for the RAC’s latest Report on Motoring found that an enormous 86% of drivers have had to deliberately steer to avoid potholes over the past year, a figure that rises to 90% of those in rural areas but only falls to 81% of those in urban locations. Most drivers (55%) also rated pothole repairs in their local areas as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’.

“We fear that by the Spring, drivers will be plagued by a plethora of potholes across the country’s roads which makes journeys uncomfortable and frustrating or, worse still, could lead to very expensive garage repair bills – the last thing anyone wants in a cost-of-living crisis,” said RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes.

“It’s also important to remember that potholes are so much more than just an annoyance, they are a true road safety danger, especially for those on two wheels as they represent a huge risk to their personal safety.”

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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