Findings estimate that almost nine million have suffered damage in last year
Recent research by Halfords Autocentres estimates that almost nine million vehicles have suffered steering, suspension or wheel damage in the last year after hitting a pothole, leaving motorists with an estimated £1.2 billion in repairs.*
The UK’s leading garage network is urging motorists to get their cars checked for damage.
To give the 53** per cent of motorists who never check their cars after hitting a pothole some reassurance Halfords Autocentres is offering safety, suspension, steering and tyre checks for free at any of its 313 networks from January onwards.
The poll of 2,000 found that an alarming 60 per cent of road users said they were most worried about potholes when driving.
The survey also found that a surprising 27 per cent of motorists have hit a pothole in the last six months and would likely to continue driving even though they are aware it has an issue.
The study also found that 30 per cent of UK drivers would continue driving for more than a month with a chipped windscreen as a result of pothole damage.
Martin Barber, Halfords Autocentres potholes expert says: “In a new car a small pothole can damage wheels, tyres and suspension, but with a large amount of drivers keeping their cars for longer they are even more vulnerable. If you hit a pothole it is always worth getting it checked even if there are no immediate after-effects such as unexplained noises or wheel damage.”
Halfords Autocentres recommends the following tips for dealing with car safety and potholes:
- Stay alert - keep an eye out for potholes so that you can avoid them safely wherever possible.
- Reduce your speed - striking potholes at higher speeds can cause more damage to your vehicle.
- Avoid unnecessary braking - try not to apply your brakes when driving over a pothole. When you brake you tilt the vehicle forward placing more stress on the front suspension.
- Hold the steering wheel correctly - in extreme cases, potholes can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Make sure you are holding the steering wheel properly - '10 to 2' hands position to help you stay on the road safely.
- Check tyre pressure regularly - ensuring your tyres have the correct pressure can help minimise potential damage caused by potholes. Recommended tyre pressures can be found in your vehicle's handbook.
- Safety first - if you wish to inspect any damage to your car, ensure that you stop in a safe place. Only attempt to recover parts which may have fallen off, such as a hubcap, if it is safe to do so.
- Get checked out - if you have hit a pothole and suspect your car has sustained damage, we recommend you get the vehicle checked out by your local garage. Ask them to verify if there could be any other issues such as problems with tracking and wheel alignment, tyres or suspension.
* The cost in reported pothole damage has been calculated by examining the steering and suspension repair work carried out across the Halfords Autocentres network between December 2015 - December 2016 and interpreting this data in line with the business’ share of the total UK repair market
** Data comes from Halfords’ Parent Panel survey conducted in October 2016, 2036 respondents
For further information please contact Halfords@z-pr.com or 020 287 5006
For more information visit www.halfordsautocentres.com or www.halfordscompany.com