Mike Waters' blog: 13 November 2012 - All change
14 November 2012
Mike Waters is senior insight & consultancy manager at Arval, the leading vehicle leasing and fleet management company.
In my experience many people have a love / hate relationship with the winter. While they are all for the time off work, long list of social events and the other festivities that go with Christmas, there are a number of drawbacks. Personally I don't have any issue with it, although as a driver winter can be frustrating, especially when the roads are in a poor state.
Over the coming weeks driving conditions are going to change significantly. It's going to get darker, colder and generally more challenging. Visibility is often poor and stopping distances can be up to ten times longer so drivers will need to be vigilant.
With all of these challenges of nature being thrown at them the last thing that drivers need are any man-made issues to negotiate. Unfortunately, recent history tells us that as it gets colder, the state of our roads will worsen; in particular, we're going to come across a lot more potholes.
Water seeps into cracks in the roads, freezes and expands. As it melts, a void is left that under the pressure of traffic crumbles and becomes a pothole. In recent years, post winter damage to our road network has made it feel a bit like a patchwork quilt as tight budgets have forced a sticking plaster approach to road repairs.
As a consequence, the next wave of bad weather often exposes new and existing weaknesses in the road. It's such a bugbear for residents in Plymouth that the local newspaper has launched 'Pothole Pete', a character to spearhead a campaign focusing on the sorry state of local roads.
Over the coming few months, it's going to be really important to keep an eye out for this kind of damage. Even a good driver can do some serious damage to their vehicle (particularly tyres and wheels) by driving over a pothole, especially at higher speeds.
In this instance, awareness is the key. Expect there to be a level of damage to busy roads, and if you spot a pothole on one of your regular routes, report it, remember it and avoid it.
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