Motoring: Steer clear of pothole trouble

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Road safety charity the IAM is offering weekly motoring tips from Britain’s top advanced driver, Peter Rodger.

This week he gives motorists advice on avoiding the risks associated with potholes.

Thirty per cent of respondents to a recent IAM poll reported that they had experienced damage to their car caused by hitting a pothole, and a further 16 per cent had seen or been involved in an accident due to one.

Leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front so that you can see the road surface before you drive or ride on it.

If you do hit a pothole accidentally, make a point of checking your tyres once you’ve stopped. Check the inner as well as the outer tyre wall, which may have been damaged as a result

Avoid suddenly pulling out to avoid a hole – you might discover that there is a motorcyclist trying to get past you, or encounter an oncoming vehicle.

Bikers and cyclists need to look well ahead and change direction early so they have time to deal with the holes, and so that their movements don’t cause surprise to other road users.

Potholes tend to reappear in the same place again and again as previous repairs fail - remember where you saw one and expect it to be there again.

Be extra vigilant on roads with lots of lorries and also around bus stops. Extra pressure is put on the road surface wherever heavy vehicles stop, start or turn.

Peter said: “One in seven road users have seen or personally been involved in an accident caused by a pothole.

“Not only are they dangerous, but they cost. A recent report by Kwik Fit found that motorists had spent £473 million to repair damage to wheels and tyres caused by potholes in the past year – the problem is best avoided.

“As well as worrying about yourself and your vehicle, drivers should spare a thought for cyclists and motorcyclists who may be trying to get past a pothole, and give them a wide berth.

“They are entitled to a wobble and would appreciate not having a motorist attempting to overtake just as they avoid a hole in the road.”