A pothole is a sharp edged depression in the carriageway greater than 40mm deep. The severity of a pothole is determined by the risk it poses to road users. This is difficult to judge since all potholes present some risk. Potholes should be reported immediately. With a recent survey showing that two thirds of UK motorists encounter between one and five potholes every day, we've got a step-by-step guide on what to do if your car is damaged by a pothole. You MUST be able to identify the exact pothole you hit, take down the road name and where it is on the road. Most importantly where was the pothole positioned on the road? For example, was it in the middle of the road or in the regular wheel tracks If you can’t prove which pothole it was that you hit, this can weaken your claim. Make sure you measure the pothole; if you don’t have a tape measure to had use a ruler, book or even your shoe as a guide to show the size of the pothole. A pothole is where the surface of the road has been eroded and a hollow has formed. After a cold spell, the roads will be in a worse state as potholes are created in four steps: As roads age they become more porous, having been worn down by traffic. This allows rainwater to seep into the surface. Cold winter weather freezes this water, turning it to ice and therefore expanding and pushing the tarmac up and out. Gaps are created in the tarmac when the ice thaws and turns back into water. These gaps get bigger with each ‘freezethaw’ cycle which weakens the road.