Blog post -
RAC Pothole Index
What is the Pothole Index?
The RAC uses its database of breakdowns attended each year to update the RAC Pothole Index, an ongoing monitor of the state of the UK’s roads. The index is essentially a measure of how often the average RAC member requests roadside assistance for a breakdown where the fault was of a type where damage from a pothole or other road surface defect was the most likely cause i.e. damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs and wishbones and distorted wheels. This ‘call-out rate’ is aggregated over the previous 12 months to remove seasonal effects.
The index uses the call-out rate at the start of 2006 as a benchmark and the value of the index is therefore a measure of how likely a motorist’s vehicle is to suffer pothole damage compared to 2006. Thus an index of 1.2 would mean the likelihood of pothole damage had increased by 20%.
The index shows there was a steady deterioration in the condition of roads between 2005 and 2010 as highways authorities’ budgets were tightened and many cut back on preventative maintenance. After 2010 it suggests there was some overall improvement in road quality, but progress is heavily influenced by extreme weather and the availability of emergency funding from central government. However, since the beginning of 2017 the index indicates the condition of roads across the UK has deteriorated steadily.
Notes to Editors
Our dedicated line for journalists is +44 (0)1454 664 123. Please note: the press office is unable to help with individual customer enquiries - please visit the RAC contacts page for the right number to call.
ISDN radio studio facilities are available for interviews Monday to Friday.
About the RAC
The RAC provides complete peace of mind to 12m UK private and business drivers, whatever their motoring needs. Its services include:
- Breakdown assistance. Its highly-skilled, 1,600-strong branded patrol workforce attends more than two million breakdowns every year, fixing on average four out of five vehicles at the roadside. The RAC’s patrol fleet is one of the most advanced in the UK, and was the first to roll out both an All-Wheels-Up recovery system, allowing the vast majority of vehicles to be recovered from a single patrol van, and EV Boost mobile electric vehicle charging units
- Insurance. The RAC is a top-five car insurance broker having surpassed the 500,000 policies-in-force milestone in 2018. It also offers ‘black box’ telematics policies, as well as home and travel insurance
- Other motoring services. The RAC leads in the development of new solutions for business, fleets, electric vehicles and future car technology. Its additional products and services include a personal loans offering, a used car buying website, vehicle inspections and checks, legal services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information. It also has a network of Approved Dealers and Approved Garages which combine the trust of RAC brand with local service and convenience
The RAC also works to support the interests of its members and UK drivers on the most important motoring issues which it identifies via the annual RAC Report on Motoring and the RAC Opinion Panel. The Report on Motoring is the longest running analysis of driver opinion in the UK having been published every year since 1989.
For more information about the RAC, visit the RAC website.