Shoddy road conditions leave 85% of drivers fearing for their safety – AA Cars

  • Subpar roads mean 85% of British drivers worry for their safety behind the wheel
  • Nine in 10 (92%) drivers are concerned about potential vehicle damage, with 52% – or 17 million[1] – suffering road-related car damage in recent years
  • The poor state of British roads leaves 72% of drivers worried that their car tax is being misused

London, 12 April 2018 – The dire state of British roads has led to some 85% of drivers fearing for the safety of themselves and other road users, according to new research from AA Cars, the AA’s used car website.

The AA-Populus poll, which surveyed over 21,000 drivers*, found that 92% of British drivers are concerned about potential damage to their vehicle as a result of poor road conditions. In fact, this very problem has led to more than half (52%) of drivers – or almost 17 million motorists[1] – experiencing vehicle damage in recent years.

Besides safety and financial considerations, Brits are also worried about the impact the roads have on their day-to-day lives, with three quarters (75%) of drivers becoming increasingly concerned about higher levels of traffic leading to longer journey times. The dismal state of British roads means that 4.6 million drivers are reluctant to use their cars for local journeys, while a further 3.7 million avoid longer car journeys because of this.

This is an issue that seems to be a particular problem in the UK; when thinking about the state of British roads in comparison to our European neighbours, almost half (46%) of drivers agreed that road conditions are generally better in mainland Europe than on home soil in the UK.

The issues with Britain’s road network mean that almost three quarters (72%) of drivers are concerned that their car tax isn’t being used appropriately.

This news comes just weeks after the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA)’s ALARM survey warned that more than 24,400 miles of road have been identified as needing essential maintenance in the next year.

Simon Benson, director of motoring services at AA Cars, says: “With many local councils lacking the funds to adequately repair roads, the country’s highway system is deteriorating – which in turn puts drivers at risk and makes pothole-related damage to cars increasingly likely.

“Clearly, drivers are well aware of this problem, as we can see by their distinct lack of confidence in the state of British roads.

“You can minimise the risk of damage caused by potholes and other road-related issues by ensuring your tyres are inflated to the recommended pressure, as hitting a pothole with soft tyres is more likely to lead to wheel damage. You should be able to find the correct tyre inflation pressures either in your vehicle handbook, on the label inside the driver’s side door frame or inside the fuel cap.

“You should reduce your speed if you’re approaching a pothole as this will lessen the chance of doing significant damage to your tyres, wheels and suspension. Similarly, you should slow down if you’re approaching standing water as this may disguise a deep – and potentially dangerous – pothole.

“Drivers should also be careful when passing cyclists and motorcyclists on roads that are known to be in particularly poor condition, as these road users may have to take last minute evasive action and swerve to avoid hitting a pothole.

“If you’ve spotted a pothole, you should report this via If your vehicle has been damaged as a result of hitting a pothole or any other issued with the road, you may be eligible for compensation. Again, you should be able to find what organisation to contact for claims purposes via – be prepared to explain exactly what the damage was, why you think they are responsible, the specific location where the incident occurred and the date and time the damage was caused.”