When you are driving, there are many road hazards that can stop you from arriving at your destination safely. Here is a look at some of the more common road hazards to be aware of and what you can do to prevent them and protect yourself from being affected by these hazards:
During cold weather, black ice can be a problem. Black ice is ice that is transparent, letting the black color of the pavement through, hence the name “black ice". Black ice forms when it is cold and rain, fog or mist falls to the ground and the process of freezing is slowed due to sublimation, so the moisture merges together forming a film before it freezes to the ground. Black ice is dangerous because it is extremely difficult to see and it is much more slick and slippery than normal ice. Bridges and overpasses are especially susceptible to black ice because air circulates both above and below the bridge causing a more rapid temperature drop than a normal road or highway. The best way to defend yourself from black ice is simply to slow down in areas that are susceptible to forming it.
It is estimated that there are nearly 1.5 million collisions between vehicles and deer on US highways each year. One reason for this stunning number of collisions is that the deer population has skyrocketed in the last 100 years from a relatively small 500,000 to over 30 million. Another reason for it is urban sprawl and development of formerly wild lands, encroaching on the deer's natural habitat and causing more encounters with humans. Engineers and scientists are developing new ways to lower the number of deer-human collisions, including finding new ways of controlling the deer population and developing innovative fencing technologies for highways where deer cross frequently, but in the meantime, to protect yourself, don't ignore those deer crossing signs, instead slow down and stay alert in those areas.
Debris that may fall in your path can range from trees and branches to furniture, tires and metal and just about anything else you can think of. The AAA Foundation For Traffic Safety estimates nearly 25,000 accidents and about 90 deaths per year are caused by road debris. You can take some precautions however. When on the highway, stay a good distance away from vehicles or trucks that have large loads that look unsafe or are not securely tied. Loads that are not securely tied are one of the biggest causes of road debris. When on roads with forest or trees around them, take extra care when driving during or after a storm, especially a storm that had alot of moisture and especially wind. It is during these times that trees and branches are more susceptible to falling or breaking.
With a little extra caution, you can minimize, though not eliminate, your chances of being affected by road hazards.
Lydia Quinn writes for Brandon Safety Lights, a leading provider of barricade lights, barricade light accessories and traffic safety supplies. Visit us at: http://www.brandonsafetylights.com/