There may be rubble ahead

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Coping with potholes has become a daily chore for drivers following successive harsh winters and cuts to council budgets making less money available for permanent repairs.

Crashing in to holes in the road or swerving to avoid them causes accidents and damage.

According road safety charity the IAM, 30 per cent of respondents to a recent poll reported they had experienced damage to their car caused by hitting a pothole and a further 16 per cent had seen or been involved in an accident due to one.

Britain’s top advanced driver Peter Rodger said observation was the key to avoiding potholes.

His top tip is to leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front so that you can see the road surface before you drive or ride on it.

If you do hit a pothole, make a point of checking your tyres once you’ve stopped. Check the inner as well as the outer tyre wall, which may have been damaged as a result.

Avoid suddenly pulling out to avoid a hole – you might discover that there is a motorcyclist trying to get past you, or encounter an oncoming vehicle.

Bikers and cyclists need to look well ahead and change direction early so they have time to deal with the holes, and so that their movements don’t cause surprise to other road users.

Potholes tend to appear in the same place again and again as previous repairs fail – remember where you saw one and expect it to be there again.

Be extra vigilant on roads with lots of lorries and also around bus stops. Extra pressure is put on the road surface wherever heavy vehicles stop, start or turn.

Peter said: “One in seven road users have seen or personally been involved in an accident caused by a pothole.

“Not only are potholes dangerous, but they cost. A recent report by Kwik Fit found that motorists had spent £473m to repair damage to wheels and tyres caused by potholes in the past year.

“As well as worrying about yourself and your vehicle, drivers should spare a thought for cyclists and motorcyclists who may be trying to get past a pothole, and give them a wide berth.”

Speed humps are another place where road users should expect to find potholes. Motoring website honestjohn.co.uk has long been critical of this form of traffic calming, claiming the road surface often suffers serious damage at the point where vehicles drop off the hump and accelerate.