Google patent navigates around potholes
Potholes have more than doubled in the past decade in the UK Reuters

Up and down the country, roads are littered with them: potholes – the UK's number one road nuisance. So it will be no surprise to hear the number of vehicle breakdowns has more than doubled over the past decade because of pothole-related damage.

Some 0.9% of RAC's 2.4 million breakdown call outs – around 216,000 – made over the last 12 months, have been associated with potholes. It marks a 0.4% increase over the same period to June 2006.

Severe weather has caused the increasing number of potholes to appear on deteriorating roads. They appear after water gets trapped in the cracks of the road and expands when the liquid freezes.

"Very cold and wet winter weather undoubtedly wreaks havoc with road surfaces, but it is poorly maintained roads that tend to suffer the most when water gets into defects and expands in freezing conditions," said David Bizley, the RAC's chief engineer, according to the Telegraph.

"This is when the quality of a road suddenly appears to go downhill fast. We need a step change in approach from simply filling potholes to regular resurfacing so that we prevent problems occurring."

He blames local authorities for failing to adequately repair the potholes during the winter months.

"The quality of the UK's roads suffered a steady decline from the start of 2007 through to the end of 2009, presumably due to lack of investment in maintenance and resurfacing during worsening economic times."