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Common Road Hazards

Common Road Hazards

Roads aren’t always the clean, clear paths their builders intend them to be. The sheer amount of road in the United States means that drivers can’t always expect their streets to be kept in broom-swept condition. There are lots of roads. And lots of things get in those roads. Man-made hazards, animals, and the weather all serve as dangerous obstacles to everyday motorists.

Man-Made Hazards

People are messy. Human civilization leaves all sorts of objects strewn about the world, and many of those objects end up in our roads. When you’re out for cruise, keep an eye out for the following:

  • Debris. The blanket that flies from the trunk of that hatchback. The orange rubber cone blown about by the wind, preventing clear traffic flow. The blown-out truck tire left on the highway like the skin of some leathery creature. Miscellaneous junk finds its way onto streets, endangering motorists.
  • Construction. Road maintenance can turn clear roads into confusing mazes. Crews can get careless, dropping object that get in the way, or can even wander out into the way themselves. And road designers don’t always get everything right. Poor design can be considered negligence, according to Wisconsin car accident lawyer Gruber Law Offices.
  • Potholes. If crews haven’t gotten to the site yet, holes in the road can be real hazards, leading to accidents and personal injury or vehicle damage.

Keep your eyes out for any of these hazards. Watch for danger signs. Keep your eyes peeled for trash, and look closely at the roads on which you’re driving.

Animals

Obviously, animals don’t understand road signs. Deer, moose, cats, and any number of animals can wander out in front of you and lead to serious damage.

Animals are unpredictable. They don’t think like people. Because animal movements are so difficult to anticipate, it’s best to slow down whenever you see wildlife near the road, even if the creature in question appears to be standing in a safe place. Deer, for instance, are notorious for their split-second decisions. Even a deer that has already crossed the road could panic and turn back into your path.

Wherever you live, find out which animals commonly wander into traffic. Next, read about what to do when you see them. This advice is especially true when you move to a new place, one with unfamiliar wildlife. Different animals behave differently—knowing how to avoid an armadillo won’t help you when a bison steps into your way.

Weather

Bad weather can transform even the coziest road into a death trap. Rain, snow, and even high winds can pose threats. Rain obstructs your vision and can cause your vehicle to hydroplane. Snow, too, can make it nearly impossible to see what’s in front of you, and even a small amount can turn your 3-ton steel machine into an out-of-control bumper car.

Check out your local Department of Transportation’s guidelines for driving in local weather. Follow those guidelines strictly.

Stay Safe Out There!

Roads are full of things that make driving difficult. No matter where you live, you’ll face hazards. Do your research, and find out what you’ll likely face on your local drives. Stay safe.

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