During the past year the RAC has dealt with 14,220 breakdowns where the most likely cause was pothole damage, representing 1.5% of all callouts.
This astonishing figure has previously only been topped twice since the RAC started analysing this data in 2006; in 2015 and 2017 1.6% of RAC callouts were for pothole damage.
The Pothole Index (RAC’s indicator of the health of the UK’s roads), suggests that things are going to get worse before they get better. It shows that road users are now 2.5 times more likely to suffer a breakdown from pothole damage than they were 12 years ago. This is worryingly close to the record high figure of Q1 2010 when motorists were 3.5 times more likely to suffer a breakdown after hitting a pothole.
UK drivers are certainly in agreement as the RAC’s Report on Motoring found the state of local roads and their surface being the biggest concern to motorists.
However, concern about the conditions of the UK’s motorways and high-speed dual carriageways has not increased significantly from the previous year as is demonstrated in the table below.
As the stats indicate, a vehicle being written off due to a pothole is a realistic worry, so if you are a broker or an intermediary this is one concern that can be addressed through our replacement vehicle policy which will get a replacement vehicle to your client within 4 hours.
Amongst the discussion about how to fix the ‘pothole epidemic’ was one very interesting and innovative breakthrough. Researchers at UCL and the University of Leeds recently demonstrated a drone that sprays asphalt via a 3D printer. Therefore filling in potholes much more efficiently than any other method. Leeds City Council is already working closely with the university to see how these drones can be best used in a concept of ‘self-repairing cities’.
Potholes however are not just an expensive inconvenience for individual drivers. Fleet managers are more aware than most how much damage, and chaos, potholes can cause. Vehicle time off the road is money lost and until the pothole issue is fixed by drones, the one variable that can be controlled is the expertise and efficiencies our managed repair service offers.
If you have an opinion, strident or otherwise, on potholes or the condition of UK roads, please let us know via our social media channels.