We know that cars are an important part of our lives these days. Without them, many of us would struggle to get to work and back each day, not to mention the fact that driving can be a lot of fun as well… especially as the weather gets better day by day.
So it’s no surprise to hear that new research from the Local Government Association has found that in 2016 motorists in England drove the equivalent of nearly 1,000 return trips to Mars – over a million years’ worth of time and an impressive 277 billion miles.
Off the back of this report, council leaders have called on the government to introduce a radical new strategy to help manage congestion more effectively and provide a plan to accommodate the growing number of vehicles on our roads.
Apparently, it would already take £9.3 billion and more than 14 years for local councils to clear the local road repairs backlog… so do take care when driving around and about because if you go over a pothole wrong or a bit too quickly, you could find yourself in need of a second hand catalytic converter!
LGA Transport spokesman Martin Tett said: “The amount of time that drivers in the UK are spending on our roads continues to sky-rocket, with motorists driving the equivalent of 989 trips to Mars and back, two-thirds of which were on local roads. This consistent increasing use of our roads means that it is more important than ever for the government to further invest in local roads.
“Only long-term and consistent investment in local road maintenance will allow councils to embark on the widespread improvement of our roads that is desperately needed, to the benefit of all road users up and down the country.”
By reinvesting just 2p per litre of current fuel duty into road maintenance at a local level, the government would be able to generate £1 billion a year for councils to spend on improvements and filling potholes, he went on to say.
To avoid pothole damage to your car when driving over them (as you inevitably will at the moment), try to steer clear of them safely wherever and whenever you can. Reduce your speed as driving over them quickly will increase the chances of damage. And try not to brake when going over them as this will put more stress on the front suspension.
Always look out for cyclists and motorbikes when avoiding potholes as they may creep up on the side of you without you noticing. Hold the steering wheel properly as going over a pothole could mean you lose control of the vehicle. Check the tyre pressure on all four tyres regularly as this can minimise any damage that your car might sustain.
And if you do go over a pothole badly, always take your car to your local garage to have it checked over just in case something has gone wrong with the tracking, suspension, tyres or wheel alignment.