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Pothole 'every 120 yards' report prompts road safety warning

Monday, 4 May 2009

According to a report (30 April 2009) UK roads have seen the number of potholes grow by a third as a result of back-log and under funding. For business vehicle drivers - one of the largest road-user groups - delayed buses and damaged cars are but some of the flow-on problems. That was the warning from leading occupational driver training provider Drive & Survive.

"Around 20 people are killed and 250 seriously injured every week in road accidents involving people driving or using the road for work," said Drive & Survive Managing Director Seb Goldin.

"The report from the Asphalt Industry Association says visual defects such as cracking and deterioration will be addressed by a succession of 'patch and mend' road works which will do little to address this issue, or for road safety and congestion in general."

Mr Goldin said there are things that individual drivers and riders can do to anticipate pot holes, and what should happen afterwards.

"If you spot a pothole ahead, you should use your knowledge of the damaged road surface to position yourself in such a way that you can avoid it. But check behind and ahead before you do so and don't drive too close to an oncoming vehicle to avoid a pothole, or suddenly pull out to avoid a hole and get in the way of a passing motorcyclist," said Mr Goldin.

"Bikers and cyclists also need to look well ahead and change direction early, so they have time to deal with the holes, and their movements don't cause surprise.

"Driver should be particularly conscious of cyclists and motorcyclists trying to get past a pot hole and give them a wide berth. Having a motorist attempting to overtake just as they avoid a hole in the road can be intimidating and distracting.

"If you do hit a pothole accidentally, make a point of checking not just the outer tyre wall but the inner tyre wall, which may have been damaged as a result.

"Finally, always make a point of reporting a pothole to the local authority as an early repair could prevent a future accident," said Mr Goldin.