Drivers taking dangerous evasive action to avoid potholes
In fact, one in five drivers have even swerved towards oncoming traffic to dodge one of the estimated three million craters that are now blighting Britain’s battered roads, says Kwik Fit.
Yet despite these dodgem car tactics, the company’s research found that 7.6 million motorists suffered pothole damage to their vehicle in the past year, racking up over £473 million just to repair their wheels and tyres, nearly £100 million more than in 2009.
As well as switching to the opposite side of the road, other risky emergency measures undertaken by motorists to avoid potholes include: excessive braking (13%), hitting the kerb (4%) and even mounting the pavement (4%).
Motorists in Scotland have been the worst hit by potholes around the UK, with nearly half (44%) saying they’ve had to take evasive action. Wales and the South West have been the luckiest, with "only" 29% of drivers affected.
According to the research, the majority (58%) of pothole-related punctures have been ‘slow’ rather than immediate blow-outs and Kwik Fit is warning motorists who’ve hit a pothole to keep checking their tyres for at least a week afterwards.
Ian Fraser, chief executive of Kwik Fit, said: 'Potholes originally took their name from being the size and shape of pots. But as consecutive freezing winters take their toll on Britain’s roads in many cases it would be more accurate to call them craters or chasms.
'The big worry, aside from the huge cost to motorists in the damage they cause, is that these craters can lead to drivers putting themselves and other road users at risk as they swerve to avoid them.'