All kinds of accidents can happen out there on the roads, and every driver should prepare themselves. Never forget to strap up your seat belt and adjust your mirrors. The modern safety features in cars also make things a little easier. But while you may be prepared for the usual bad drivers and poor weather conditions, there are some driving problems you might not expect.
To be the safest driver you can be, you should always expect the unexpected. The roads can be unpredictable sometimes, but you can always try to make the best risk assessment possible. Here are some driving hazards you might not expect, but should watch out for.
Watch Out For Animals
Credit: Dennis Hamilton
You should be used to slowing down and preventing collisions with cars and pedestrians. But what about animals? Many run out onto roads and startle drivers. It’s especially common on country roads, where animals like deer roam free. But even in cities, you may get surprised by a cat or dog.
If you’re involved in a collision with an animal, make sure you call the police so they can deal with it humanely. You should also exchange details with those involved and take photos of the incident. Some insurers cover you for damage from animal collisions. It might help to compare car insurance and make sure you have the right coverage.
Be careful when you’re anticipating animals. Country roads with large deer populations often have warning signs. But you never know when something like a cat could run out on you. Try to emergency stop if you can, but don’t cause danger to other drivers by swerving across the road.
Cut Down Distractions
It might seem ironic to say distractions are an unexpected driving problem. After all, distracted driving is becoming one of the biggest problems on the roads today. You might expect other drivers to be distracted. But you might not realise when you’re getting distracted yourself.
All kinds of things can distract you in your car. You might see something happening on the pavement, or maybe you look at your speedometer for too long. But the leading cause of distractions today is tech such as smartphones and driving screens.
Ignore your technology when you’re driving and keep your eyes on the road. Voice-activated controls and hands-free devices make it easier to avoid distractions.
You might be prepared for inexperienced drivers causing problems. But remember that motorcycles are often small and hard to see. Some reckless bikers try to slip along the sides of cars at crossings. They may also try to cut you off at intersections. Be on the lookout for these problems.
But remember that it’s a two-way street, and you need to make sure you’re not posing risks to bikers. There are plenty of safe and responsible bikers out there, and inconsiderate drivers cause them problems. Give motorcyclists adequate space and don’t flash your headlights in their eyes.
Learn About Different Crossings
You’re probably used to stopping at regular pedestrian crossings. But do you know what you need to do when you encounter a Zebra Crossing? Things like Equestrian Crossings are even less common. You might’ve learnt about all these when you learned to drive, but make sure the information is sharp in your mind.
It helps to take a couple of minutes to learn about different crossings. Make sure you know the correct protocol for each one. You should also know how to deal with all types of roundabouts- accidents often happen here due to inexperienced drivers. Be extra careful at train crossings, too.