We all know the roads can be a dangerous place. Sadly, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are around six million automobile accidents in the United States every year. That is over five hundred accidents per hour on American roads. So, what road hazards can you be looking out for to avoid being part of these statistics?
We have compiled a list of some of the most common ones to be aware of and careful with. After speaking to various experts, we believe these are the road hazards you should know about. Read on to find out more about staying safe on the road today.
Rain and Snow
Many of us have been caught out by some bad weather out on the roads. If you are a regular driver it is inevitable that at some point you will have to deal with driving in the rain, sleet, or snow. This is not something that we can control or avoid, but we can prepare for and be careful with changing weather conditions. The first thing to ensure is that your window wipers work effectively. Many of us neglect to change our wipers or even check them over before a long drive, but we all should. Also, check your tire tread to make sure you have plenty of depth left to deal with any standing water, snow, or ice. In some states and areas, it is mandatory also to carry snow chains.
Trucks are big and therefore highly destructive in the case of any unfortunate accidents. We aren’t saying you should be afraid of every truck or trucker out there, but simply to be more careful and aware of trucks. We spoke to some of the experts over at blumenshinelawgroup.com/illinois-truck-accident-attorneys/ who told us that “A driver of a large truck because they sit up high, might not be able to see pedestrians, bicyclists, or small vehicles.” And while they also state that truck drivers are not necessarily bad drivers or even bad people, sadly things like this can get missed. Take a bit of extra care and be wary of a fast-moving truck, whatever vehicle you may be in. These things take a long time to slow down, and can cause a lot of damage!
Wildlife, unfortunately, contributes to a variety of accidents on roads around the world every year. The first and most obvious danger with wild animals is that they can appear in the middle of a road with very little notice, causing cars traveling at high speeds to collide with or swerve to avoid animals. This can cause huge amounts of damage and destruction, especially in the case of deer or elk-sized animals, who can cause huge damage to any vehicle. Secondly, people can be extremely distracted by things on the side of the road, and animals are one of these things. A two-second glance over your shoulder at a surprising animal spotting can cause unplanned lane changes and accidents. Keep your eyes on the road, whatever you think you may have just spotted!
Now, you obviously can’t go round checking every driver on the road is properly awake, rested, and ready to drive. Sadly, people choose to drive tired far too often, and it is sometimes a very costly mistake. What you can do is be on the lookout for the signs of a fatigued driver in your path. Drivers who aren’t fully functioning will often drift across a lane and then jolt back into position, or speed up and slow down even whilst driving straight down a highway. Don’t let these drivers catch you out. Be vigilant and either pass or drop back away from erratic and tired drivers.
Bikes and Bicycles
Unfortunately, many accidents on our inner-city roads involve those on two wheels. This is not because they are bad road users or people to avoid. Most cyclists and motorbike users stick to the rules and ride smartly. The problem here is their size. Spotting a cyclist coming across a junction or around a blind corner is much harder than spotting a 4×4 or semi. This can often cause people to pull out straight into the path of a two-wheeled road user and cause serious injury. Be vigilant on city roads and look out for vulnerable road users, and pedestrians. Stick to the lower speed limit and help everyone stay safe.
These are some of the most common and unfortunate road hazards that can occur today. Be sure to follow these tips and help yourself avoid an accident. Stay safe, and happy driving!