Driving can be a really pleasurable experience and something that many people absolutely love to do. But the state of the roads in the UK can often make it more like a nightmare than anything else, as the last thing you want to do is cause damage to your car as you bob along.
Potholes can be found absolutely everywhere and they can cause untold damage to a vehicle, whether it’s to the tyres, wheels, the steering wheel centring, the tracking or something else. Hitting a pothole at higher speed can cause serious problems and you could even lose control of the car and have an accident if you’re really unlucky – so if you do see a pothole, do all you can to avoid it or drive over it as slowly as you can.
Last year’s Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance survey revealed that the total amount spent in England and Wales in 2015 on filling potholes across each region was estimated to be just over £118 million. This compares to the £144 million spent filling them in the year before – which suggests that pothole problems are only going to increase for drivers in the future.
So what do you do if your car is damaged by a pothole? Your first call to action should be to report it, so that it can be logged officially and your local council has an obligation to get it fixed. Warranty Direct recently set up a dedicated site to help with this (potholes.co.uk), or you could go with fillthathole.org.uk – either one will help you get the ball rolling. Alternatively, you could just get in touch with your local council directly.
However, bear in mind that if you do drive over a pothole and your car sustains serious damage, you could have a claim against the authority that’s responsible for keeping the roads in good condition.
While the pothole problem in the UK doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon, there may well be a change in the air. According to the Daily Telegraph, the Court of Appeal has just ruled that councils should be forced to fix potholes immediately after jogger Lee Crawley tripped on a deep pothole while out running and was unable to bear weight on his ankle for ten days.
Barnsley Council argued that it wasn’t to blame because it took all reasonable care in the circumstances to make sure the highway in question wasn’t dangerous. But Mr Crawley claimed that the authority’s breach of duty and negligence directly caused his injury.
It’ll certainly be interesting to see how this pans out and whether councils around the UK do start to fix potholes in a more timely manner. We’ll be keeping an eye on this story for any developments and let you know what goes on!
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