These are trying times. Brexit is a headache, nuclear war is only a tantrum away, and Mondays are still happening at a rate of once a week. But even this three-pronged trident of terror has nothing on the affliction that blights UK roads at this time of year. That’s right, potholes are back – and they’re bigger, scarier, and even more equipped to cause minor damage to your vehicle.

But what causes these black holes in the road? How much damage do they really do to your car? Why couldn’t we think of a better blog topic this week? Here are the answers to two of those questions, and more:

Fireballs of punishment

Some say they’re scorch-marks sent down by an ancient dragon. Others say they’re the result of water freezing in small cracks in the road. Nobody can say for sure, but the second one at least explains why potholes tend to appear during the winter months. According to this theory, cars drive over the weak spots, causing the pavement to crack and chip away – leaving a hole in the road that gets bigger day by day.

National suffering

If you joined all the potholes in the UK together, you would create a super pothole that’s 25.6 miles long and 25 miles deep. We know, we know, it’s enough to make you shudder. One in seven motorists has had their car damaged by potholes too – which makes them officially more dangerous than sharks, which haven’t damaged any cars in the UK in the last decade. These deadly road chasms aren’t cheap either; councils have spent £1.6 million repairing them, while damage to each car averages out at £300 a time.

Silent murder

You might think you’re safe from potholes. After all, you’ve driven over loads, and nothing really bad has happened. But that’s where you’re wrong – because potholes creep up on you. They stalk you in the night and whisper ‘unaligned suspension’ in your ear. While the destruction might not be obvious straight away, it can worsen over time, causing damage to your tyres, your wheels, and your exhaust. If you’ve got one of those nifty, low-sitting sports cars, it can harm your bodywork too.

Our only chance

Don’t worry, there is hope. Potholes have two main weaknesses – properly inflated tyres, and regular car checks. The first one guards against wheel damage, while the second can prevent longer-term problems like suspension-knack. If we all stick together, we will overcome this evil. Stay strong, Great Britain.

If you’re concerned about pothole damage, bring your car in for a Vehicle Check at any Citygate branch – just call 0330 012 0242 to book your appointment.