Hazards You Should Be Aware of on the Road
There is nothing more exhilarating than getting your driver’s license, the keys to a car, and the newfound freedom of being able to drive yourself. It feels amazing to climb into that driver’s seat, roll down the window, turn on some tunes, and go! In fact, it is so great that you definitely want to keep the privilege and drive safely. Getting behind the wheel of a two-ton automobile is a lot of power, so take on the responsibility as well. Be sure to watch out for these hazards!
Not everyone is a great driver, as you’ve probably already noticed. You never know what is going on inside the cars you pass. The driver could be falling asleep. They could be speeding through town in order to save themselves two minutes. They could be eating, fiddling with the radio, or even texting. As much as people think they can multitask, studies show they can’t, so you must be on the defensive. Pretend that everybody on the road with you is an idiot. Don’t freak out, just watch carefully and be ready to react to anything at any time. While you drive, play in your mind what you would do if someone did something stupid. Thinking about and planning for the possibilities will get you in the habit of driving defensively.
Large vehicles are a double whammy. Not only do they have a harder time seeing you, but it takes much longer for them to stop once they do. Always give yourself much more room behind them, and don’t assume that they can see you when you pass. Trucks with NFPA labels are potentially hazards and you should avoid them. These trucks are potential fire hazards, so give them a wide girth.
Water and Ice
All you need is a tiny 1/10 of an inch of water to hydroplane. That is barely enough water to make the road look wet! When you hydroplane, your tires lift from the road and you are essentially sliding across the surface of the water. As you can imagine, it is pretty much impossible to steer or stop. The same goes for ice. In these cases, just go much, much slower than normal if the road is wet or icy. Break slowly, turn slowly, do everything as slowly, gently, and smoothly as possible. If conditions are too bad, stay off the road!
Nothing speaks freedom quite like finally getting to drive! It feels so good to be more independent, and it can really boost your quality of life. Just be sure to watch out for all those hazards out there! Buckle up, drive safely, and have fun!
Read this next: 4 Tips for Passing Your Behind-the-Wheel Driving Test