Driving on UK roads can be precarious at times, especially during difficult weather conditions not forgetting having to watch out for careless drivers. To add to that, the deterioration of road surfaces during the winter where water freezes, expands and opens up cracks in the tarmac, can be a real problem causing you to swerve or if you’re unlucky hit the potholes and damage your vehicle. In this article we’ll go through the process of avoiding and claiming for pothole damage to your car.
Avoiding pothole car damage
While potholes aren’t easy to spot when you’re driving at speed on a motorway for instance, it’s much easier to avoid them on slower roads. A telltale sign is when drivers in front of you are swerving out of the way so be prepared. If the road ahead is clear look out for dark patches on the road surface ahead as a giveaway for potholes. When it’s raining, potholes can be disguised as puddles so be aware when driving through puddles they could conceal potholes. Potholes are common especially in winter when the surfaces are vulnerable to frost, causing cracking. When you can’t manoeuvre safely out of the way of a pothole, slow down as much as you can depending on the perceived depth of the hole.
What damage can a pothole cause?
Smaller cracks and potholes in the tarmac are less likely to cause car damage. Deep and wide potholes that produce a noticeable ‘clunk’ or ‘thud’ sound when you drive over them have a greater chance of causing damage to your car. They also can cause accidents when cars swerve to avoid them without taking due care and attention to other vehicles. Usually potholes cause damage to wheel alignment & wheel balancing causing steering damage. At other times tyres can be damaged even causing punctures. Suspension damage is often triggered by potholes too. If you have low profile tyres and alloy wheels, these can often be damaged by driving over deep potholes at speed.
Report a pothole to your local authority
If you’ve been affected by a pothole and want to make a claim it’s sensible to make the authorities aware of the pothole to not only substantiate a claim but also save other drivers the misery. There is even a government website where you can alert Highways England to potholes. If a serious accident has been caused by a pothole on the road which you were witness to, then call the emergency services.
Make a claim for car damage caused by potholes
If your vehicle is badly damaged by a pothole on a highway, once the incident occurs safely pull over and assess your vehicles damage. Note down the location, road name, estimated size and position of the pothole on the road, the date and time of incident and your direction of travel on the road at the time. If you can take photographs of the pothole on the road and the damage caused to your vehicle then all the better. Collecting all the facts before making the claim will give you more chance of successfully winning compensation. Next after reporting the pothole to your local authority highways agency, get a quote from a trusted car repair garage and if you can afford to do so get the repairs done. Next with a copy of the invoice (or quote) from the garage for repairs (any extra notes the garage can supply will help too) and the notes you’ve taken, report a claim to the council responsible for the road where the incident occurred. Hopefully armed with all this evidence you can recover all, if not part of the repair costs.
Need your car repaired after pothole damage?
MCM Garage are trusted and reliable car mechanics who can deal with any pothole damage or other repairs your car needs in the Bath, Bristol and Radstock area of the UK. Please call us on 01761 415 501 to get a quote or email us for a car repair quote via our contact form. We can even pick-up your damaged vehicle and deliver it back once repaired if you’re local to us!