National Pothole Day & Car Hire
This year, the 5th National Pothole Day is today the 15th of January, a ‘celebration’ born out of frustration at the deteriorating state of the Nation’s roads. At Priory, we frequently find ourselves providing car hire to motorists whose own vehicles have been damaged by a pothole they’ve encountered, forcing them to hire a car from us while their own is being repaired.
With road maintenance budgets being cut and a few cold winters behind us, it’s no surprise that the road surfaces are in worse shape than they’ve been for some time, but what causes potholes and how can you help deal with them?
What Causes Potholes?
Cold weather is more of a cause of potholes than general wear and tear. When water seeps into cracks in the road and then freezes, it expands, enlarging those cracks and breaking up the road surface. This process repeats over time, resulting in holes in the road large enough for a wheel to fall into. Potholes are nothing new and local councils, historically, have kept on top of them through interim patches to full road resurfacing in order to keep the roads safe and driveable.
Unfortunately, with austerity, cutbacks and a few too many cold winter, Councils are struggling to repair roads fast enough to keep up, leading to the general impression that the roads are getting worse, the reason National Pothole Day was set up to acknowledge.
What damage can Potholes Cause?
As a car hire firm, we often rent cars to those unfortunate enough to have their cars rendered unsafe by a pothole and of course, some of our rental cars also encounter potholes too.
Potholes are a danger to road users. Hitting a pothole you didn’t know was there, at the very least makes quite a bump when you hit it and even the calmest of drivers are likely to be shocked by the jolt, so even if there’s no damage to the car it’s enough to cause a moment of broken concentration which is dangerous by itself. If the driver isn’t so lucky, hitting a pothole can cause all kinds of damage to the tyre, the wheel and the suspension amongst other things, which could well make the car immediately undriveable and which cause a lot of concern, cost and inconvenience.
Reporting a Pothole for National Pothole Day
Last year, on roads managed by Cheshire West and Chester Council alone, complaints about potholes more than doubled compared to the previous year as did claims against the Council and payouts for damage caused. Councils have a duty to keep the roads in good repair, but we can also help them out by reporting potholes before they become hazards using our local Council’s own website. Prevention is better than cure, so giving your local Council a chance to fix a pothole by reporting it is far better than it being fixed only after someone discovers it by accident.
With claims for pothole damage on the increase, there have been stories that some councils are attempting to cut costs by only agreeing payouts where they had been previously notified about a pothole before a car was damaged by it. So if you’re unfortunate enough to have your car damaged by the road you’re driving on, you’ll likely be grateful if someone had reported the pothole. If we all do our bit, everyone benefits.
If you’ve had the misfortune to hit a pothole yourself and your car is likely to be off the road while it’s repaired, contact us to arrange for quick and convenient car hire while your car is off the road and we’ll do our very best to take some of the stress out of the experience.