Northumberland is the worst region in the UK for injuries sustained in road collisions due to poor road surfaces, a new report has confirmed.
Over the last four years, 38 people were injured because they were involved in a car crash on poorly-maintained Northumberland roads.
The latest Department for Transport figures also revealed that, across the whole of the North East, 77 people were injured in road traffic accidents where “defective surfaces” played a part.
This is a very worrying trend and now that we are heading into winter, our region’s drivers are at even greater risk.
The Ongoing Problem of Potholes
Northumberland has, like the rest of the UK, suffered from pothole-infested roads over recent years.
An article in The Journal in January this year confirmed that there are over 6,500 potholes in Northumberland – caused by a combination of bad weather and ongoing council budget cuts.
There are over 5,000km of road in Northumberland – some of them in very remote areas – and the local authority area is one of the biggest in the UK. It’s therefore understandable how the problem of road crash injuries caused by defective roads has been named as the UK’s worst.
Northumberland County Council has invested £11m on road maintenance this year, so what’s important now is what they do to improve the situation.
Claiming for Injuries Caused by Potholes
Councils throughout the land will no doubt face similar calls from fed-up motorists and cyclists this winter to tackle potholes in their area.
Although new technology aimed at eradicating potholes once and for all has been mooted recently – such as pothole-proof road coatings and even plastic roads – it could be quite some time before we are able to say a final farewell to potholes on our roads.
Road defects such as potholes can catch car drivers unaware and cause whiplash injuries, among other things. Last year, potholes were responsible for £3.2 million in driver compensation claims in the UK and, with some weather forecasters predicting a harsh winter, next year could see an even further increase in this figure.
On behalf of all road users in Northumberland, I hope the council is awarded sufficient funding to urgently address the problem of defective roads and potholes across the county, especially as a bad winter could make things even worse.
Richard Allbeson is a senior personal injury solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Newcastle.
Slater and Gordon offer a free consultation if you have been injured in a car accident through no fault of your own. Call us 24/7 on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online.