Recently conducted research that local authorities have had to deal with an upswing in car accident claims brought against them due to issues caused by potholes left unfilled.
The past two winters in the UK have been uncommonly cold. As the constant freeze-and-thaw of water on our nation’s motorways causes cracks and potholes to occur, local authorities have been unable to keep up with the burgeoning road safety issue. As a result the number of personal injury compensation cases caused by potholes have blossomed.
Potholes can lead to severe injuries or even death amongst motorists and those that share the road with them, according to the AA. Cyclists were found to be particularly vulnerable, as injury claims such as broken wrists have been reported by cyclists who have been thrown from their bicycles after colliding with a pothole.
Potholes also are a leading cause of axle and suspension failures in cars and other large vehicles. Traffic accident claims caused by potholes cost approximately £2.8 billion every year in the UK, and road maintenance efforts are currently underfunded by approximately £1 billion annually. As a result, local authorities end up paying out in excess of £50 million in personal injury claims caused by pothole-damaged roads.
Recent discoveries have been made that indicate councils have been experiencing increased pothole-related damages. This is because local authorities with responsibility for maintaining the roads in question can be held liable for injuries suffered by motorists or damages sustained by their vehicles.
Due to the increased costs, the government recently issued a confirmation that it will be allocating an additional £100 million in funding to local councils to be spent on road maintenance and much-needed repairs. Transport secretary Philip Hammond added that the new funds will allow for smoother and safer trips for the millions of drivers across the UK who have had the dubious honour of running into these omnipresent potholes.