How tall is the combined depth of the potholes on UK roads?

How tall is the combined depth of the potholes on UK roads?

The 1.5 million potholes on UK's roads cost motorists £1 billion a year in repairs. 

Drivers reported 1.5 million potholes on roads to 51 UK authorities between April 2018 and June 2021; this figure would undoubtedly be far higher if potholes on major highways and motorways were also reported. So we started to wonder: how tall would the hypothetical skyscraper be if all of the reported potholes in the UK were placed on top of one another? 

According to data gathered by the RAC from 190 of the 207 local highway authorities in Britain, three out of four local authorities (or 75%) have switched to a "risk-based approach" to repairing potholes. This means that councils will take into account the type of road, the amount of traffic the road carries, and the mix of road users in addition to the size, width, and depth of a pothole. All municipal highway administrations are accountable for the upkeep of their individual road networks under the terms of the Road Traffic Act of 1980. Surprisingly, there isn't a nationwide legal standard that specifies what constitutes a pothole. 

A pessimist would say that a local government short on funds might just change the categorization of a pothole to avoid filling and repairing the damaged road. 69% of local transportation authorities only look into potholes that are 40 mm or deeper. 

The hypothetical tower reaches 11,250 metres, which is roughly the cruising altitude of a civil aircraft (10,000–12,000 metres), comfortably taller than Mount Everest (8,849 metres), deeper than the Pacific Ocean (11,022 metres), and nearly 100 times taller than the London Eye. If even one-quarter of the reported potholes on local roads were, for example, 30mm deep, this would mean that over two-thirds of local highway, authorities would not investigate further (13,500 metres). 

Given that the majority of local traffic authorities in the UK only investigate potholes that are at least 40mm deep, the cumulative depth of the 1.5 million reported potholes on local roads is 60,000 metres. This sum will get you halfway there. The Kármán Line is an invisible line at 100,000 metres above sea level when the atmosphere becomes too thin for conventional aeroplanes. 

According to earlier data, 32% of UK drivers experience damage from hitting a pothole, which forces them to replace at least one tyre every year. Given that the average cost of replacing four tyres is £397, or £99.25 per tyre, owners of the 40.8 million licenced vehicles in the UK must pay a yearly replacement cost of £1,127,352,960 due to pothole damage.

Tips for reducing damage caused by potholes 

Follow the two-second rule 

Always leave a two-second gap between you and the car in front, as they may brake or swerve to avoid a pothole if it suddenly appears. This way you will have a clear view of the road and more time to react. 

If possible, slow down and steer away from a pothole 

Sometimes it's impossible to completely dodge a pothole. If you can see one coming, attempt to slowly approach it without braking abruptly and gently veer away. 

Be mindful of tyres 

The expected lifespan of a car tyre is 10 years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first. Regularly examining your tyres, especially before a lengthy trip, should help you spot any issues in the earliest stages. The centre three quarters of every tire's tread must measure at least 1.6 millimetres across in order for it to comply with current UK driving regulations. 

Split the cost of tyres, repairs, and services into interest-free monthly payments with Bumper, and choose from 1000s of dependable service partners. 

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