Have you ever been in an accident or seen an overturned car on the side of the highway? Every day we hear about accidents that happen along our roadways due to different kinds of road hazards. These road hazards can be very dangerous and potentially lead to an accident or even fatal crashes. Here, Doug Yates Towing & Recovery discusses in detail some of the most common and dangerous road hazards.
Dangerous Road Hazards
- Storms & Rain – Storms and heavy rain are a natural hazard for drivers, especially in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Be aware of these situations. When you are driving in heavy rain, reduce your speed and increase the distance between you and the car in front of you. This will minimize the dangers of skidding into someone and causing an accident.
- Sun Glare – The sun’s glare can be a dangerous road hazard as it can impair your line of sight. Anything that causes problems with your vision can cause an accident. Using your vehicle’s sunshade and a pair of sunglasses can help reduce glare.
- Icy Road Conditions – Icy conditions on the road are one of the most dangerous road hazards. When snow is present, the distance, a vehicle needs to stop increases tremendously. Reduce your speed and allow more distance between you and the person in front of you in the chance you slide over the ice and snow.
- Fog – Fog is one of the most common causes of road accidents. The best you can do is avoid driving in such conditions. If it’s inevitable, make sure you drive very slowly and have the fog lights on. Be extremely careful while switching lanes, and never stop on a busy road.
Traffic Light Malfunction Hazard
A traffic light that has gone out can be very dangerous. Since we rely on these lights to tell us when to stop and go, it’s essential that you stay cautious and aware when approaching one. Check each direction and make sure it is your turn to go before proceeding. The last thing you want to happen is you and another car go and collide in the middle of the intersection.
Pedestrians sometimes get lost in their phones and lose a sense of their surroundings. They might unexpectedly walk into the road due to their lack of attention which can result in catastrophic accidents. Another example is if runners are wearing dark clothing and are unable to be seen in the dark at night. These hazards can be fatal and no one wants to hit a pedestrian. Constantly staying alert in low-lit areas can help you avoid pedestrian hazards.
Animals are another potential road hazard that a motorist has to be aware of and prepare for. Depending on where you live, certain animals are more present than others. When traveling where animals are, it is important to slow down and pay attention to the animal crossing signs. Deer, skunks, squirrels and more have been known to cross highways and roads. If you come across one, using your brakes is safer than swerving off the road. Animals get disoriented in your headlights and tend to run or jump out of the way. Slow down and wait for the animal to pass, this will avoid getting into a serious accident.
Road Work Hazards
- Potholes – Potholes are the most common dangerous road hazards. These potholes can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle or cause a tire to blow out. Both of which can lead to serious or fatal accidents. If you end up with a blowout, be sure to call a professional towing company like Doug Yates.
- Uneven Roads – When a road or highway is being repaved, sometimes the road can be uneven. Changing lanes on these roads might cause you to lose control of your vehicle, especially if you are going fast. Slow down when changing lanes to avoid steering loss.
- Highway Workers – If you are going through a road work zone, most likely there are people working in the area. It is very important that you slow down and be cautious of these workers. Having one step into the street can cause you to swerve and get into a potential accident. Stay aware and slow down.
- Missing Signage – If a sign is missing, it can mislead a driver causing them to alter their driving patterns. This can lead to potential dangers and even an accident. Always be aware of your surroundings and what is coming up ahead. This can minimize the likelihood of a fatal crash.
A danger caused by road construction may be anything like traffic cones, road closures, highway workers, construction materials, or warning signs suggesting a lower speed restriction. To keep yourself safe when driving through an area undergoing construction, you should pay heightened attention to the road and ensure that your speed does not exceed the limitations set. Be sure your headlights are always on, avoid changing lanes, and keep an eye out for construction workers, machinery, and equipment.
- Bicyclist – A bicycle is considered a vehicle on the roadway and has exactly the same rights as any other vehicle. In any given year hundreds to thousands of cyclists will die on our roadways. Give bicyclists plenty of room, and keep an eye out for them, especially near public parks and residential neighborhoods.
- Large Trucks & Semis – According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, roughly 70% of fatal multi-vehicle crashes involving a large truck are caused by the other vehicle. People in passenger vehicles are especially vulnerable in collisions with large trucks because of the great difference in weight between cars and large trucks. Make sure you are always visible to the larger trucks on the road. If truck drivers can’t see you, the possibility of a collision is greatly increased. And when you stay in their blind spots, you make it impossible for them to see you. Avoid following too closely, and position your vehicle so the truck driver can see it in his or her side mirrors.
- Motorcycles – Motorcyclists have exactly the same rights as any other vehicle. They can be difficult to see and especially vulnerable in a collision, keep your head on a swivel for motorcyclists, especially when passing other vehicles. Motorcycles can approach quickly and unexpectedly, so always change lanes with caution.
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Doug Yates Towing & Recovery always wishes motorists the safest journey, but gaining knowledge about dangerous road hazards is essential. In an emergency, we highly recommend finding the best and most responsive towing service with state-of-the-art equipment and a professional and trained team like Doug Yates Towing & Recovery. If you find yourself in an accident, be sure to give us a call and one of our drivers will be there to assist you in no time.