For motorcyclists getting back on their machines after a winter break, there is an additional hazard this year. The harsh winter conditions and extreme sub zero temperatures have played havoc with the roads in the UK. In February 2011 the BBC News reported on the millions of pounds being spent by councils on repairing potholes as well as paying out for compensation claims.
However repairs are just not keeping pace with the problem. There are far more potholes than normal, and with current cut backs in public expenditure it will take longer to fill them in – especially on the minor roads.
Even for car drivers hitting a pothole can be an expensive experience, causing axle and suspension damage. But for motorcyclists hitting a pothole can result in serious injuries or worst still fatalities.
So what can be done about it? Bikesure, the specialist motorbike arm of Adrian Flux Insurance Services, has put together the following advice in a bid to keep motorcyclists safe.
- Leave some space between you and the vehicle in front so that you have time to see the pothole and can take avoiding action safely.
- If at all possible don’t ride through puddles: they may well hide a deep and dangerous pothole.
- When riding at night slow down on unfamiliar roads. There’s no way of predicting just when you may hit a pothole.
- Potholes can appear virtually overnight. Don’t take your route for granted.
- Places where heavy vehicles stop and start, such as bus stops and lay-bys, are particularly susceptible to potholes.
And if you do find a pothole there are now easy ways to report the hazard and also campaigns to get something done about it.
Potholes.co.uk is a website dedicated to the pothole problem. It’s your first port of call for advice and information. They even give users the chance to upload reports of potholes to help our other road users.
The government has a dedicated pothole page on its public services website including a clickable link to take you through to report the pothole to your local authority.
Although primarily for cyclists, Fill That Hole is building up a nationwide map of potholes. By clicking on the flags you can get detailed information about the hazard and see the worst roads to travel. Help build up the network by reporting new potholes.