9 out of 10 drivers affected by potholes

An estimated nine out of 10 drivers (89%) were affected by potholes in 2020. This is according to the latest IAM Roadsmart’s annual Safety Culture Report. The issue of improper road repairs is now a major concern for drivers.

The study, which tracks drivers’ behaviour to important road safety issues, shows how big the issue of the potholes are. 75% of drivers now consider it a bigger issue than it was three years ago. The second safety issue is driver distractions (68%) – such as texting or talking on the phone – and traffic congestion (65%). The survey is now in its sixth year and includes campaigning for the views of more than 2000 drivers. The study also notes that 31% of drivers have changed lanes to dodge a pothole. More than half (54%) had to brake hard or steer away to avoid impact and injury.

Regional variation

In the Southeast, 81 percent of motorists consider potholes to be more serious road safety problems than in the past three years. That figure drops to 61% in London and 64% in the Northeast. The numbers certainly support the concerns of the drivers. It is currently estimated that there are approximately 42,675 miles of England roads that are considered to be in poor condition. It could cost up to £ 11.14 billion to raise them to a level where they can be kept cost-effectively going forward. This is according to the Asphalt Industry Alliance.

However, a recent study by IAM RoadSmart also found that 12% of motorists had enough damage to their car caused by a pothole that needed to be repaired. Only 16% had reported a hole to the authorities. Only 7 percent then proceeded to claim for damages.

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