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How to deal with common road hazards and unsafe driving situations?

1. Poor weather and road conditions

  • Slow down and drive at a safe speed that matches the flow of traffic.
  • Keep more distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Keep your windshield and windows clear; weather conditions can make it more difficult to see if a dirty window impairs your vision.
  • Use your headlights at the appropriate times and the correct levels for visibility levels.

2. Bad traffic
If you are driving in bad traffic, keep a more distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you, be prepared to stop, and watch out for the vehicles that may suddenly pull in front of you.

3. Reckless drivers
Reckless drivers are:

  • Distracted (e.g., on a cell phone or sending texts while driving).
  • Under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Driving recklessly and slip between cars.
  • Speeding much faster than the speed limit or flow of traffic.
  • Driving much slower than the flow of traffic.

Reckless drivers create a hazardous environment for drivers around them.

When you see a reckless driver, slow down, let him/her pass, and keep a safe distance from reckless drivers.

4. Reckless Pedestrians
Pedestrians who jaywalk, or recklessly cross a street are creating a hazard for themselves and drivers. Know that even though a pedestrian is at fault, it is a responsibility of the driver to do whatever he/she can to avoid hitting a pedestrian. Hitting a pedestrian with a car can be fatal to the pedestrian and have severe consequences.

5. When children are nearby walking or playing
Children do not have the sound judgment to know how dangerous moving vehicles are and can suddenly run to chase a ball across the street, or simply to go home.

Whenever you see children around while driving, slow down and prepare to stop.

6. Bicyclists
Some bicyclists tend to drive too closely to cars. Keep a safe distance from bicyclists on the road.

7. Road debris in the middle of the road or highway
Look far in front of you for road debris and if you see any, slow down and try to change the lane safely away from debris.

8. Vehicles that are hauling furniture, construction materials, or other items that are not fully secured to the vehicle
If you notice a vehicle that is hauling furniture or other items that may become loose, do not drive behind those vehicles and stay away as far as you can. If you notice that a hauling vehicle has an unsecured load and may throw debris on the road, exit the highway and call the highway patrol to describe the unsafe vehicle.

9. Construction Zones
If you come across a construction zone, slow down and drive carefully. Be prepared to safely change lanes and watch out for road workers.

10. Potholes.
Potholes can cause distractions, and some drivers may swerve around a pothole and cause accidents. When you see a pothole on the road, keep a firm grip on your steering wheel, slow down and, if it is safe, try to drive around the pothole.

11. Malfunctioning Traffic Lights
If you come across a malfunctioning traffic light at an intersection, watch out for drivers who may not follow the rules and just drive through the light without stopping. Make sure that all vehicles are stopped before proceeding.