Potholes are a top safety risk for riders

Blog post posted on 03/03/20 |

Following the research that showed riders and cyclists are 34 times more likely than car drivers to be killed on UK roads (reference 1), it’s an increasing concern that potholes and poor road surfaces are topping the list of risks to road users.

It’s recently been announced that local councils will be raising council tax in 2020, so us road users are hoping these increases will cover the repairs of the dreaded potholes.

I regularly drive between Yorkshire and Hertfordshire for work, covering hundreds of miles every week. It’s safe to say I would think twice about taking my motorbike on many of these roads, often choosing a different route for comfort and safety.

In this age of improving technology, why is it that pothole repairs are at the very best temporary? Surely, we can figure out how to make it last?

Hertfordshire announced this year the council received record numbers of compensation claims due to pothole damage - 2,190 in total and paid around £158,777 in compensation (reference 2).

This puts Hertfordshire at number six in the top ten list of councils in England who have paid out the highest amount of compensation claims in 2019/20.

Potholes are a plague on the roads. What is simply uncomfortable for a car driver and unnoticeable to a lorry driver can cause a motorcyclist serious harm.

With fewer wintery days and more spring sunshine, myself and many other motorcyclists are more likely to dig out the leathers and head out for a ride.

To support our motorcyclists on the roads it’s important that if you spot a pothole to report it to your local council - it only takes a few minutes.

It's also good to remember when you are about to overtake a cyclist they may need to avoid a pothole, so give them as much space as you would a car and help keep everyone safe.

By Richard Gladman, IAM RoadSmart head of driving and riding standards

Reference 1: Transport Network

Reference 2: Hertfordshire County Council