There are many dangers on our roads these days, especially given the increasing number of vehicles that take to the streets. It is little wonder that thousands of accidents happen each day, but this does not mean that drivers should stop taking steps to keep themselves safe and help to prevent accidents.
Being able to spot potential dangers and respond accordingly could prevent many accidents from ever happening, and this could mean fewer injuries and insurance claims, putting less strain on the economy and emergency and health services.
Younger drivers often get a bad reputation for being less safe, but seeing as they have passed their test more recently and have therefore been through the latest hazard perception assessments, they may actually be more able to spot and deal with hazards on the roads.
Sometimes, it is drivers who have been behind the wheel day in, day out for many decades who are less able to take note of their surroundings.
However long you have been driving you should take steps to spot road dangers and avoid them accordingly. Things to look out for include:
Pedestrians and animals
People, particularly children, can be a very real hazard. Always be aware of those on the pavements and be ready to anticipate their move. For example a child might run out before the lollipop lady has stopped traffic, or a dog walker might lose control of his animal.
Potholes, poorly maintained manhole covers, bollards and so on can all be hazards. If you use the same road often you will get used to where the bad bumps or holes are located and learn to avoid them, but if you are on a road you do not use often be sure to look out for potential dangers. Take action to avoid them early on so that you do not have to swerve at the last minute, which could cause a collision.
Debris on the roads is another major hazard. On country roads you might encounter fallen trees or roadkill that you need to avoid. On motorways lost cargo or blown tyres are common.
Avoiding hazards on the roads all boils down to being aware of your surroundings and learning to prepare for potential problems before they arise. Make sure that you are not distracted when driving and keep your eyes on the road – not on the radio or your mobile phone. Anticipate when you might need to slow down, such as for a tricky junction, and do so early and with clear signals so that other road users are aware of your intentions.
Improved awareness will help to reduce your chance of being in an accident and also help to keep other road users safe.
Date Published: September 23, 2013
Author: David Brown