Drivers are being urged to keep an eye out for a specific item on roads to try and avoid suffering a pothole-related breakdown.

The AA has issued guidance to "avoid puddles" after it received 52,541 callouts in October for vehicles damaged by road defects.

This was the most for any October on record and means the number of callouts for the year currently stands at nearly 11,000.

Tony Rich, AA public relations manager, said: “Continuous poor weather and storms such as Babet, Ciaran and Debi are having a two-fold effect on driving conditions.

Sidmouth Herald: Puddles could be hiding potholes and the AA is urging cautionPuddles could be hiding potholes and the AA is urging caution (Image: PA)

“What feels like relentless rainwater is covering and increasing the severity of potholes, while also holding back essential road repairs by rightly diverting roads maintenance crews to tackle fallen trees and flooded areas.

“Our advice to drivers and those on two wheels is to avoid puddles where safe to do so, but if there is no alternative other than to travel through, then reduce your speed and keep an increased distance from the vehicle in front.”

What action is being taken against potholes?

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has pledged to tackle “the scourge of potholes” with extra funds for local road maintenance in England.

This will come in the form of an extra £8.3 billion of funding using money saved by scrapping HS2 north of Birmingham.

Sidmouth Herald: The AA has said continuous storms and poor weather have contributed to worsening potholesThe AA has said continuous storms and poor weather have contributed to worsening potholes (Image: PA)

A DfT (Department for Transport) spokesman said: “We are already investing more than £5.5 billion into highways maintenance, and our recent Network North announcement delivers an additional £8.3 billion, the biggest ever increase in funding for local road improvements, and enough to resurface up to 5,000 miles of roads.”

What damage do potholes cause?

Common vehicle problems caused by potholes include punctures, distorted wheels, damaged shock absorbers and broken suspension springs.

Garage repair data analysed by the RAC shows drivers are paying an average of £440 if their car needs fixing after hitting a pothole for any damage more serious than a puncture.