Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Biggest Hazards Faced By Road Users Today

Driving on modern roads has become incredibly dangerous. We’ve reached the stage where our system is overcrowded thanks to too many cards. So, it should come as no surprise the US reported thousands of serious incidents during the last twelve months. With that in mind, we wanted to find out about some of the biggest hazards faced by motorists today. Hopefully, the information should help to shed some light on the situation and set the record straight. People who’ve been driving for years should read this post to refresh their memories. Anyone who plans to pass their test during the next few months should give it some attention too. Our roads are still pretty safe compared to those in some other countries. However, drivers need to make sure they’re aware of the following dangers.

Speeding motorists 
There is no getting away from the fact that other drivers are the primary cause of accidents on our road system today. Regardless of the quality of your driving skills, other people are often the most significant source of concern. The law experts at say claims against other motorists have skyrocketed. That is because more people now realize they can take the other party to court. However, speed limits are there for a reason, and anyone who breaks them will put lives at risk. All you can do is make sure you don’t fall into that category. Even if you’re running late or there’s an emergency, you still need to watch your speed if you want to stay safe.

Depending on where you live in the world, animals could become a serious issue on the roads. Those who drive in the countryside should apply more caution that most. We’ve all seen those news stories about motorists crashing into herds of sheep or cows. We’re also more than aware of the dangers drivers face when horses break out of their paddocks. In the United States, there are 725,000 to 1.5million wildlife-related vehicle accidents every year. It would be nice if we could teach those animals road safety, but that’s probably not going to happen. So, it’s up to car owners to keep their eyes peeled and drive safely. Interestingly, those figures don’t include people who swerved to miss and animal and ended up hitting something else.

Distracted drivers 
Research shows that distracted drivers cause around 3,300 deaths on US roads every year. Most of them weren't concentrating due to cell phones, the radio, alcohol, and noisy passengers. In the UK, motorists are banned from using the telephone while driving for that very reason. With a bit of luck, the US will adopt the same legal approach in the future. The only issue is that some insurance policies might become void if you’re convicted. So, you’ll have to cover any costs associated with an accident. Distracted drivers often take their eyes off the road and their hands off the wheel. That is perhaps one of the most irresponsible things anyone can do while in charge of a motor vehicle. People who want to stay safe should make sure they keep the radio turned down low. Don’t answer your phone, and keep passenger conversations to a minimum.

Poor weather conditions 
The US has one of the most diverse weather systems in the world. That is because the country spreads over such a large area. Some residents will experience ice and snow every year, but others will only see the sunshine. That becomes an issue when motorists travel to other locations and don’t have the skills to drive safely. It says at that motorists should always check their internal forecasts before driving. Snow, rain, and ice can make the road conditions treacherous. Drivers are reminded that slowing down and keeping their distance is the best course of action. Stopping distances could increase by more than 80% in the worst of circumstances. There are also specialist products people can purchase to make their cars more stable. For instance, wrapping chains around the wheels should help to provide more grip.

The number of pedestrian deaths has more than doubled since the introduction of cell phones. People seem to walk along the road like zombies when they’re sending text messages. It wouldn’t make too much difference if they stayed on the path, but that isn’t happening. Drivers have to remain on alert at all times due to the dangers posed by those on foot. At any time, a pedestrian could walk out into the middle of the road without noticing your oncoming vehicle. If you crash into the person, you’re probably going to cause severe injuries. Will the pedestal face the full force of the law? Of course not! Drivers will always end up in court because the authorities will say they weren’t using due care and attention.

Dodgy road surfaces
Sometimes crashes happen because roads aren’t maintained properly. We all know how frustrating it can become when you hit potholes and uneven surfaces. Indeed, most people pay a road tax to fund the essential repairs. However, local authorities and government bodies are notoriously bad and meeting standards. That is why experts say that more than 50% of all US roads are in need of repair. Drivers who want to stay safe should try to remember where the worst areas are along their route. Slow down when you’re approaching patches of road that need work, and always report potholes to the right people. The worst thing about dodgy road surfaces is they can damage your shocks and alignment. That could cost thousands of dollars to fix at the garage.

Unsecured loads

Everyone should understand the importance of securing their loads properly. However, roadway debris is said to cause around 450 deaths each year. Most of those incidents happen when truck and van drivers fail to tie their load down. It then becomes loose, and the vehicle drops it all on the road. Approaching motorists have to swerve, and that’s when accidents occur. Of course, sometimes drivers are unlucky, and the items smash straight through their windscreen. There are guides online for anyone who doesn’t know how to secure their loads, so there’s no excuse for getting it wrong. The basic rule of thumb is that you should leave the items at home if you are unsure. At the end of the day, you’re responsible for any products transported with your vehicle. So, you will face the full force of the law if you fail to secure them.

Tire blowouts
Thankfully, tire blowouts don’t happen too often. However, they can become incredibly dangerous if they occur at high speeds. You know what it’s like - you’re travelling to a big game, and you hear a bang come from the back of your vehicle. It’s sensible to slow down straight away before stopping and taking a look. In most instances, you will have to call a recovery company because blowouts can cause a lot of damage. Even so, some drivers manage to change their tire at the side of the road and continue their journeys.  In the most severe or cases, tires fly off the vehicle as soon as they burst. That means it’s possible for them to cause other motorists to crash. The only way to reduce the chances of that happening involves checking your tires regularly. When the tread seems too worn, you need to purchase replacements.

Moving toddlers
The law states that people under a certain height should sit in a car seat. That is why most parents spend hundreds of dollars buying one for their child. Believe it or not, kids who refuse to sit still cause many accidents every year. They slide out of the seat and start to mess around. That encourages their parents to take their eyes off the road. Nobody wants to have a smash when their kids are in the car. So, make sure you buy extra harnesses and strap your child so tight they can’t get out without assistance. Also, keep some books or games in the car, so they’re always entertained. In most instances, they’ll only leave the seat because they’re feeling bored.

Now you’ve read that information, staying safe on the roads should become much easier. There are a few other hazards you might like to consider, but we’ve covered all the most frequent issues already. Tiredness isn’t going to help you to avoid accidents when travelling along US roads. Experts recommend all drivers should take a break from sitting behind the wheel for more than four hours. They also say nobody should remain on the streets for more than eight hours during a twenty-four hour period. So, people who drive long distances should take more care when planning their routes. Make sure there is always somewhere you can stop and get a coffee after hours in the driving seat.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that driving alcohol is the worst thing a driver can do. Not only will you find yourself on the wrong side of the law, but you will also put lives at risk. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can drink a couple of cans and get away with it. When all’s said and done, that is one of the most irresponsible actions taken by motorists today - and we want to stamp it out!

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