Driving on Main Road This Morning, and Hit a Pot Hole

I drove this road yesterday morning at 05:30am to work but can't remember what lane I was in.

Anyways, I hit a hole or something and it bent my wheel and destroyed my tyre. The car was leaning left, and when I got to work it was totally flat. When I hit it, it was a huge dip/smack on the rim I felt.

Now I'll have to pay for road side assistance, and tomorrow for a new tyres or fix the flat with a bent rim.

Is council liable? I can't imagine how many cars could damage their wheel before they fix it.

Thank you

closed Comments

  • +2

    How come you didn't see it before hitting it?

    • -1

      Because it's 0530 and extremely dark? It's a main road in Adelaide, but not very well lit at night. Driving at 60kph, what would be my available reaction time if I saw something 5-8m Infront of me? 😬

  • +2

    Unfortunately the council is not liable, you should have avoided it or slowed down if it was unavoidable.
    Beat to report the pothole to council so they can repair it before too many more are damaged.

    • -1

      I was driving at the speed limit, I couldn't see it where it's extremely dark.

      I drive this road every week for over 15 years!

      Rang council, made report. I have to speak during business hours for compensation, if any.

      • +7

        I couldn't see it where it's extremely dark

        Turn your headlights on…

        • Yeah mate

      • -1

        I was driving at the speed limit, I couldn't see it where it's extremely dark.

        Slow down?? What if the pothole was a person instead?

        • +3

          Less car damage

          • @Nugs: I was driving with my eyes closed.

        • WTF kind of advice is this. Maybe everyone should drive at walking pace with a spotter out the front?

          • @Flying Ace: It's called driving to the conditions. OP stated that he had 5-8 metres of visibility. Driving 60km/h (or 56-57km/h as OP has said that is the actual speed he was going) as OP has said in 5-8 metres of visibility is not driving to the conditions.

      • Which main road is this?

  • Actually rang road side, I have it. Funny enough, they won't tow anything if you've hit anything.

    They'll fill air, or replace tyre with spare if one is available.

    • +1

      That's common.

      If you need a tow, you'll need to call a towing service.

      Road side assistance is actually that - to assist you road side.

      • RAA give you free tows, however only for mechanical or electrical faults.

    • +4

      What your car doesnt come with a spare tyre?

      • Mine doesn't - not even a space saver! Just comes with a can of dirty goo. lol.

        It's the biggest thing on my mind when go long distance and the only reason I get road service.

        • That blows my mind.. is there an option for a spare?

          I know with the ex-mistakes ASX it comes with shitty space saver, or for 1100 you can have the foam insert in the boot changed to suit a fullsize spare … needless to say didnt bother with that

          • @pharkurnell: There's just enough space in the boot and in some 2017+ models (same shape), they've actually reconfigured it with the foam inserts, like you mentioned, and added a space saver.

            I looked into doing that, but it was $2000+ for all the individual bits and pieces to get that redone. Euro cars….

    • +4

      So? You don't know how to change a tire OR avoid potholes?

    • +9

      I'm in South Australia.

      Why does everyone here assume poster is always at fault? Always negative feedback.
      It bent my RIM, it was not a small pop hole which simply damaged my tyre. The rim of the wheel is bent, I don't have an insurance claim in my life.
      Everyone on here points the finger all the time, because it's so difficult to believe there's a huge hole in the ground on a road? Apparently that's no one's fault.

      My tyres are 14-15 months old, less than 5,000kms. They're $200ea, not cheap Chinese tyres.

      I'm 3 months over the Kmart tyre replacement, they give 12 month plan but apparently give free tyre repairs for life of the tyre.

      • -5

        Why do posters assume their fault is somebody else's fault?

  • Can you read?
    I asked if council was liable, I didn't say they were.

    The lady who took my call, actually mentioned to speak to them during business hours to discuss if there was any compensation.

    • +1

      Yes I can read and i was specifically replying to your comment about

      "Why does everyone here assume poster is always at fault?"

      I had provided info that it's not always Council's fault, and that your State's road authority may be able to assist.

      You called Council's and got its after hours service which is handled by a call centre. You didn't speak to a Council officer.

      • You basically provided no information, as each council may have different rules.

        You've got nothing productive to say but be negative. MyHyde gave a response with actual helpful information.

        You've just said that if my tyre is 2 PSI under its my fault, or I may just casually be driving around with a flat tyre with no actual evidence.

        Apparently car maintenance would cause this aswell, yes great information. Good job 👍

        • +5

          Sorry, my bad - It's not your fault in anyway.

          You've driven the same road for 15 years and only noticed the pot hole the first time you hit it.

          Hope you can find someone to pass the issue to.

  • +3

    In nsw at least council can only be liable for damages from infrastructure if they failed to meet their inspection and response times to repair. If they didn’t know about it, they can’t be held liable. So if the pothole was not apparent at their last inspection (they inspect regularly on main roads) or no one from the public has reported it to them they won’t be responsible.

    If they knew about it and hadn’t repaired it within their documented time frame they might take responsibility. Eg if their inspector logged it or the public reported it on Monday and they failed to repair it within 2 days they may be liable.

    The inspection schedule and response timeframe varies depending on how busy the road is, what it is classified as and the type of damage.

    I worked for a council for a while and state roads were inspected once or twice a week depending on their clssification and large potholes were to be repaired within 24hr of reporting under the contract for maintenance with the state road authority. Small potholes had a few days. Local roads had less frequent inspections and longer repair times.

  • +12

    Obviously I've been very frustrated this morning, however I just received a private number phone call and it was someone from the council.

    Very unexpected cos I was told I wouldnt receive a phone call, however the gentlemen mentioned the area had been red flagged and probably opened up the road with the heavy rain over the weekend. 3 holes, and one is quite bad.
    Actually took photos, which he's going to pass on to South Australian State Road Department for immediate repair because it's a main road. He's going to send me the photos to my phone with his name and any details so I can ring tomorrow and try and file for compensation if there is more than light damage to my tyre/wheel.
    Whether or not I get any form of compensation, I feel a little bit more Eddie's as I do have roadside assistance, and where I bought my tires last year do provide free puncture repair. Hopefully my wheel isn't bent too badly and doesn't need replacing.

    Absolute legend of a bloke.

    I'll post photos when I receive because I have no idea how bad it is.

    I'm sorry for biting at people, but it's pretty frustrating when you're asking an honest question & people literally are trying to shift blame on you from every angle.

    • As I was trying to inform you, it's potentially your State's Road Authority issue and where your claim is best served.

      See my first reply to you before you started getting defensive.

      • +2

        MyHyde already mentioned that, and yes I know you said it as-well.
        I apologise for being rude.

        It was just super frustrating when literally every single person is giving me a new reason why it's probably my fault and it's impossible that it was actually a really bad pothole.

        • -1

          Well it is your fault. You were driving. You shouldn’t be driving at a speed where you cannot stop for or avoid obstacles.

          Ultimately though, our driving culture is that Ross are expected to be in good condition and we’ve forgotten how to drive to conditions being conditioned to drive at the listed limit at all times.

          Edit: there is also a sense of frustration with people that appear to want to blame someone else every time something untoward happens and people that always seem to want compensation for every minor inconvenience.

          Can you imagine how much our rates/taxes would be if the govt handed out cash for repairs every time someone hit a pothole?

            • +5

              @Adelv: No need for name calling. Who was driving? Who doesn’t recognise that the speed limit isn’t the speed you have to drive at, but is the maximum? Who doesn’t realise that if you can’t see where you are going you are going too fast?

              I’ve hit potholes before too, I know it’s my fault.

              Edit: I looked at the photo. If you couldn’t see that, even at night you weren’t paying attention or were travelling too close to the vehicle in front. If you regularly travel that way, you should have been prepared for damaged pavement. That isn’t 24hr worth of damage.

              • @sheamas88: 60kph is probably around 56-57kph in my car, I drive past 4-5 red light cameras on the way to work.

                • +3

                  @Adelv: You don’t have to be speeding to be driving too fast. You just keep reinforcing my point that the Aussie driving culture is about expecting to be able to drive the speed limit at all times and forget about driving to conditions.

                  • -5

                    @Euphemistic: So I gather you're not Australian? You're in here making racist remarks towards Australians in Australia and their culture?

                    Why do you live here if you don't like Australian culture?

                    Speeding too fast? I didn't realise doing 60kph on a major road is speeding too fast.

                    • +3


                      Speeding too fast? I didn't realise doing 60kph on a major road is speeding too fast.

                      Again, it’s called driving to the conditions.

                        • @Adelv: Conditions:
                          1. It was dark
                          2. You didn’t see a pot hole and all the debris beside it

                          Maybe you werent driving too fast, but too close to the vehicle in front?


                          but can't remember what lane I was in.

                          I’m pretty sure I’d know which lane I was in when I hit a pothole that caused a flat tyre.

                          It’s kinda funny you’re stalking my other posts. Seems to be the reaction of someone trying to justify something they know is wrong.

                          I’ve been wrong before, admitting it is a much easier path.

            • @Adelv: Those line markings indicate that that section of road was dug up and replaced. There are watermains/gas/power under the road that need to be accessed sometimes. After they access these assets they often poorly compact the ground back and/or the road surface they use is often weaker/not bonded to the old surface. Over time vehicles compress the ground plus water is able to penetrate further weakening the surface/sinking the ground. I am not going to name who I used to work for (government department, think assets), but when this happened we would have to pay for the damage to vehicles. I would investigate who it was that made that opening (if possible), can use DBYD to see what assets are in the road and contact the relevant overseer.

              • @dandosr: I appreciate the break down, I will look into it tomorrow.

                Unfortunately working 12 hours today.

                Thank you for the information!

              • @dandosr:

                Those line markings indicate that that section of road was dug up and replaced.

                The marking indicate it is to be patched. That type of failure is typical of soft shoulders. It gets pushed out by heavy loads as the surface fails. It looks like the pavement patch was failing, but has let go after wet weather.

  • Hope it was an essential journey😉
    But seriously, you should pursue it with local council. Probably a process for making some sort of claim, especially if the pothole has only just appeared

  • +2

    I'm an essential worker, and yes I have official paperwork.

    I'm grateful that the gentleman called me from the council and further more took photos and sent them to me.

    I'll follow it up with DPTI tomorrow.

    Thank you

    • Hmm, negative voting someone who tries to introduce a little light humour & offer some support for your bad situation.
      <<makes mental note not to help Adelv again>>

  • +6

    Cool, another confirmation bias shopping thread. Asks for opinions, gets some they like and some they don’t and goes on a name calling bender on anyone that doesn’t give them the information they want to hear.

    Have you tried asking on Whingepool? And what did they say when you asked them?

      • Yeah, because I said all of that…

        Anyway, because I like math…

        You stated you were doing 60 km/h (give or take a few km/h)
        You also stated that visibility was about 5~8m
        You also noted that you drove this road every week for 15 years. Anyone with that level of intimacy of a road would know where all the usual road trappings would be. (As per your photos, it's easy to see that these potholes didn't just magically appear, and anyone who had traveled that road in the last week would have been aware of their existence.)

        At 60km/h, you are traveling about 16m/s. (That's metres per second)
        At 5m (about 1 car length) of visibility, you gave yourself a reaction and take avoidance action time of 1/3rd of a second.
        At 8m (about 2 car lengths) of visibility, this jumps up to a whopping 1/2 (half) second to see danger, process it, decide on a course of action, send the message to your muscles and make the corrective action.

        I mean, it could be my fault for so many reasons other than an actual nasty pot hole.

        Well, you know, if the shoe fits… But maybe, just maybe, you not driving to the conditions may have contributed to the damage to your vehicle.

        And before you get all name-cally and shouty with me, I am not saying that the pothole isn't at fault here, as it quite well could be, but your intimate knowledge of the road should have had you aware of the roads deteriorating condition. Your lack of visibility should also have coupled with that intimate knowledge of the road's condition and made you drive at a pace more suited to the abysmal conditions.

        Edit: OP edited their comment as I was making a reply to that comment.

  • +4

    Here's my contribution to this fascinating thread:


  • +2

    Generally you can try to claim tyre damage if you can prove the council knew about the pot hole and didn't fix it in reasonable time.

    Very hard to do obviously as the council tends to hold all the cards (ie the database of pothole reports). You may have to FOI them for info on it.

    Look at this guys attempt which failed


    • This is the right answer. And it is very difficult to prove they knew about it and was negligent. FOI would take weeks or months.

  • +1

    Thanks op.

    This thread made for a great read while taking a Sunday morning dump.

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