Encountering potholes, especially after winter, is a serious problem for drivers in Oxfordshire, with these road defects often causing significant vehicle damage.

Defects in Oxfordshire’s roads meant the county council received 6,026 claims for compensation between 2017/18 and July 2023.

In response, specialists at Howden Insurance have offered tips for avoiding potholes and mitigating potential damage.

These include maintaining a two-second gap to the car ahead to allow for reactive measures to potholes, exercising extra caution on unmarked roads, and keeping your car's tyres in good condition.

They also stressed the importance of always having a firm grip on the steering wheel, as hitting a pothole can greatly affect steering, escalating the risk of accidents.

In the case of a pothole encounter, Howden Insurance advises against abrupt braking as it puts additional strain on the vehicle's suspension.

Instead, the speed reduction should be gradual.

Afterwards, drivers should park in a safe spot and examine their vehicle for any visible damage and note any changes in its performance.

Drivers are also reminded of the right to make damage claims caused by potholes.

They should record the road, date, time, and weather conditions at the time of the incident.

If a driver does encounter a pothole, it can be reported either to the National Highways if it is on the motorway, or the local council for non-motorway roads.