There are many dangers on public roads, drivers have to recognize these dangers and respond in the right way. Here you will find an overview of the most common hazards.
Reduce your speed in rain, snow and sleet. The road surface is much smoother in bad weather conditions, so the tires have less grip. In case of a wet road surface it is best to reduce your speed by about 15 km / h. With snow you can best halve your speed. Use snow tires or snow chains when there is snow on the road. On ice you have to drive very carefully, because a vehicle is not controllable on ice. It is therefore very dangerous to drive on ice.
A crosswind is any wind that has a perpendicular component to the line or direction of travel. This affects the aerodynamics of many forms of transport. Moving non-parallel to the wind's direction creates a crosswind component on the object and thus increasing the apparent wind on the object; such use of cross wind travel is used to advantage by sailing craft, kiteboarding craft, power kiting, etc. On the other side, crosswind moves the path of vehicles sideways and can be a hazard.
In case of rain or a wet road surface, most tires have a good grip up to about 55 km / h. If you drive faster, the tires start riding on the water like water skis. We call this 'hydroplaning', in dutch water smoothness or aquaplaning. If there is water on the road surface, the tires can completely lose their grip with the road. Bare or worn tires can lose their grip at much lower speeds. The best way to prevent hydroplaning is to reduce the speed in case of rain or a wet road surface.
In roadworks, temporary orange colored lines are often painted on the road surface. The orange stripes then replace the white ones.
Traffic congestion is a condition on transport that is characterised by slower speeds, longer trip times, and increased vehicular queueing. Traffic congestion on urban road networks has become increasingly problematic since the 1950s. When traffic demand is great enough that the interaction between vehicles slows the speed of the traffic stream, this results in some congestion. As demand approaches the capacity of a road, extreme traffic congestion sets in. When vehicles are fully stopped for periods of time, this is known as a traffic jam. Traffic congestion can lead to drivers becoming frustrated and engaging in road rage.
Crossing animals can cause dangerous traffic situations. In green areas it often happens that animals cross the road.
Tailgating is when a driver drives behind another vehicle while not leaving sufficient distance to stop without causing a collision if the vehicle in front stops suddenly. The safe distance for following another vehicle varies depending on various factors including vehicle speed, weather, visibility and other road conditions. Some jurisdictions may require a minimal gap of a specified distance or time interval.
Braking distance refers to the distance a vehicle will travel from the point when its brakes are fully applied to when it comes to a complete stop. It is primarily affected by the original speed of the vehicle and the coefficient of friction between the tires and the road surface, and negligibly by the tires' rolling resistance and vehicle's air drag.
Road slipperiness is a condition of low skid resistance due to insufficient road friction. It is a result of snow, ice, water, loose material and the texture of the road surface on the traction produced by the wheels of a vehicle. Road slipperiness can be measured either in terms of the friction between a freely-spinning wheel and the ground, or the braking distance of a braking vehicle, and is related to the coefficient of friction between the tyre and the road surface.
Loose chippings are loose gravel or stone fragments on a road surface and form a hazard to vehicles using that road. It may come from the road's chip seal. Excessive speed while driving through loose chippings damage both the road and vehicles. Loose chippings can reduce traction and cause loss of control. This is a special hazard to motorcyclists and bicyclists, who may lose their balance and fall if their tires start sliding. Loose chippings can be picked up by tyres and damage them, or may be spun off to become high speed missiles, which may injure or damage other persons or vehicles on the road.
Rockfall refers to quantities of rock falling freely from a cliff face. A rockfall is a fragment of rock detached by sliding or falling, that falls along a vertical or sub-vertical cliff, proceeds down slope by bouncing and flying along ballistic trajectories or by rolling on talus or debris slopes.
A blind spot in a vehicle is an area around the vehicle that cannot be directly observed by the driver while at the controls, under existing circumstances. Blind spots exist in a wide range of vehicles: aircraft, cars, motorboats, sailboats, and trucks. Other types of transport have no blind spots at all, such as bicycles, horses, and motorcycles. Proper adjustment of mirrors and use of other technical solutions can eliminate or alleviate vehicle blind spots.
Wrong-way driving is the act of driving a motor vehicle against the direction of traffic. It can occur on either one- or two-way roads, as well as in parking lots and parking garages, and may be due to driver inattention or impairment, or because of insufficient or confusing road markings or signage, or a driver from a right-hand traffic country being unaccustomed to driving in a left-hand traffic country. People intentionally drive in the wrong direction because they missed an exit, for thrill-seeking, or as a shortcut.
A driver must concentrate on driving his vehicle. A driver is distracted when something pulls away his attention from the road, so he can focus less on driving his vehicle. A distracted driver is at greater risk of being involved in an accident. With the known consequences (property damage, injuries, deaths).
Roadrage is aggressive or angry behavior exhibited by motorists. These behaviors include rude and offensive gestures, verbal insults, physical threats or dangerous driving methods targeted toward another driver or non-drivers such as pedestrians or cyclists in an effort to intimidate or release frustration. Road rage can lead to altercations, assaults and collisions that result in serious physical injuries or even death. Strategies include long horn honks, swerving, tailgating, brake checking, and attempting to fight.
Night-blindness is a condition making it difficult or impossible to see in relatively low light. It is a symptom of several eye diseases. Night blindness may exist from birth, or be caused by injury or malnutrition (for example, vitamin A deficiency). It can be described as insufficient adaptation to darkness.
Fatigue is a feeling of tiredness. It may be sudden or gradual in onset. It is a normal phenomenon if it follows prolonged physical or mental activity, and resolves completely with rest. However, it may be a symptom of a medical condition if it is prolonged, severe, progressive, or occurs without provocation.
Alcohol and driving a vehicle are a very dangerous combination. Alcohol reduces attention, assessment and reaction capacity. A drunk driver is not only a danger to himself, but also to other road users. That is why the police often organize alcohol checks, alcohol intoxication is measurable and punishable from a certain level.
An accident is often happening quickly. What should you do if you are involved in an accident?
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