Research from earlier this year revealed that potholes have caused damage to vehicles costing a total of £915 million to repair. This is a sure sign that despite promissory words from the authorities, things are not getting any better.
Seventy percent of drivers say they hit at least one pothole every week owing to a combination of factors like road or weather conditions, such as the pothole being hidden by a puddle or it being too dark to spot. Many say that they have had to make a deliberate decision to hit the pothole as avoiding it would have compromised the safety of other road users. It is an ongoing problem which is why motor manufacturers are beginning to explore new suspension systems that can help mitigate the pothole strike and thus save on repairs.
New Suspension Systems
Ford, for example, are developing an advanced computer-controlled suspension system that significantly reduces that shocking feeling when driving down a potholed road. The system works by using computers which analyze multiple signals collected from 12 high-resolution sensors that adjust the dampers every two milliseconds for the best vehicle response in every situation. When the edge of a pothole is detected, the car’s computer adjusts the dampers faster than the blink of an eye to their stiffest settings so the wheel doesn’t fall as far into the pothole. Thus, as the tyre and wheel don’t drop as far, they don’t strike the opposite side of the pothole as harshly.
The Pothole Road Map
Motorists could also soon be spared expensive car repairs with the help of an ingenious crowd-sourced virtual pothole map. It is due to undergo testing soon The map will show drivers, in real-time, on in-car displays, where potholes are, how bad they are, and even suggest alternative routes. This is something that could be adopted, in time, on any connected car.
In this country it is estimated that by the year 2020 the bill for repairing every pothole at once would amount to £14 billion. That’s a lot of taxes. It’s going to be a major task because, every year without fail, the cold, ice, and snow all cause roads to freeze, thaw and ultimately break apart. That is why this virtual map is being developed. Ideally, the technology could highlight a new pothole the minute it appears and almost immediately warn other drivers. It does not solve the ongoing problem however.
We have more holes in our roads than the moon has craters. Driving on the surface of the moon is a luxury UK motorists can only dream of. Thanks to literally decades of under-investment some of our roads aren’t much better than Peruvian goat tracks. Successive governments of whichever persuasion have made road safety a top priority. This is as it should be but, like a boasting bully, they scarcely ever follow through when it comes to supporting the automotive infrastructure. In short, we are supposed to drive better and cleaner but we have to do it on increasingly inferior roads.
At least on our uncertain highways there is one thing car buyers can be certain of. All our quality used cars at eCars247 come with a full AA inspection so that our customers know that out on the roads they will work as they should. Sadly, we can’t help you with the pothole crisis.