In the latter three months of 2022, RAC patrols responded to roughly 25% more breakdowns where potholes were probably to blame than in the first three months.
The numbers, which were released in honor of today’s National Pothole Day, show that between October and December, the automotive services company’s roadside workers reacted to an average of 20 breakdowns per day, for a total of more than 1,800. Bent wheels, broken suspension springs, and damaged shock absorbers were among the flaws.
With 16 breakdowns per day over the preceding three months (1,462 in total), this was the most pothole-related breakdowns in the fourth quarter of the year since 2019.
Given the amount of rain that has dropped on either side of December’s subzero temperatures, there is now a very real chance that a lot of potholes will emerge over the next few months. These conditions are ideal for the growth of potholes because water seeps into cracks and expands when it freezes, causing the road surface to collapse.
A startling 86% of drivers over the course of the past year have had to swerve deliberately to avoid potholes, according to research for the RAC’s most recent Report on Motoring. In rural locations, this percentage rises to 90% of drivers, but only falls to 81% in urban areas. The majority of drivers (55%) also rated the quality of nearby pothole repairs as “poor” or “very poor.”
According to Nicholas Lyes, the head of roads policy for the Automobile Club, “we fear that by the Spring, drivers will be plagued by a plethora of potholes across the country’s roads, making travel uncomfortable and frustrating or, worse yet, could lead to very expensive garage repair bills – the last thing anyone wants in a cost-of-living crisis.”
It’s important to remember that potholes are much more than just an annoyance; they pose a major risk to human safety, especially for those who are going on two wheels.