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Dire state of UK roads leave 85% of drivers fearing for safety, AA Cars research finds

pothole potholes pothole with water

The dire state of British roads has led to 85% of drivers fearing for the safety of themselves and other road users, according to new research from AA Cars.

The poll, which surveyed more than 21,000 motorists, found that 92% of British drivers are concerned about potential damage to their vehicle as a result of poor road conditions, with more than half (52%) of drivers experiencing damage in recent years.

Simon Benson, director of motoring services at AA Cars, said: “With many local councils lacking the funds to adequately repair roads, the country’s highway system is deteriorating - which in turn puts drivers at risk and makes pothole-related damage to cars increasingly likely.

“Clearly, drivers are well aware of this problem, as we can see by their distinct lack of confidence in the state of British roads.

“You can minimise the risk of damage caused by potholes and other road-related issues by ensuring your tyres are inflated to the recommended pressure, as hitting a pothole with soft tyres is more likely to lead to wheel damage.

“You should reduce your speed if you’re approaching a pothole as this will lessen the chance of doing significant damage to your tyres, wheels and suspension. Similarly, you should slow down if you’re approaching standing water as this may disguise a deep - and potentially dangerous - pothole.

“Drivers should also be careful when passing cyclists and motorcyclists on roads that are known to be in particularly poor condition, as these road users may have to take last-minute evasive action and swerve to avoid hitting a pothole."

The survey also found that 75% of drivers becoming increasingly concerned about higher levels of traffic leading to longer journey times.

The dismal state of British roads means that 4.6 million drivers are reluctant to use their cars for local journeys, while a further 3.7 million avoid longer car journeys because of this.

The issues with Britain’s road network mean that almost three quarters (72%) of drivers are concerned that their car tax isn’t being used appropriately.

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  • Pothole_Avoider - 12/04/2018 12:04

    This is typical of the government, if drivers allowed their cars to deteriorate to the same level the government and local authorities have the roads we would be pulled over by the police and heavily fined or have your car impounded. All too often utilities dig up the road for essential works but then don't resurface the road properly or as a result of their trucks and diggers create damage on driveable sections not being worked on. Since they've started the works on the A217 the surrounding road conditions have become diabolical with some "potholes" reaching depths of several inches before anything is done and then it's just patch-up job that probably won't last the year. They need to pull their fingers out!

  • Reg - 12/04/2018 14:23

    Riding a bike is really becoming quite dangerous, particularly in rain on roads for which one has not memorised the pot holes. When driving it's important to recognise that cyclists often have to ride well away from the nearside to reduce risks. However this does make passing difficult for trucks and buses.

  • Winston - 13/04/2018 12:33

    Reducing speed when approaching a pothole seems reasonable, but it's not so easy when travelling at 70 mph on our motorways where many, many potholes can be found in any lane at any time. If you do see them early enough, trying to avoid them is also sometimes impossible, otherwise you could be putting yourself or other motorway traffic at risk. As I drive, hazard perception now includes spotting (and avoiding) potholes as a matter of routine, but it shouldn't !!

  • GaryB - 13/04/2018 14:58

    Maybe the government should invest in maintaining roads rather than 'upgrading' huge expanses of motorway to 'smart motorways' at huge expense because apparently the average motorist is incapable of deciding to slow down for themselves when traffic is heavy

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