Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving

DANGERS > LANE > OBSTACLES

Obstacles

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The second Golden Rule of 'Expect the Unexpected' is well demonstrated in this section looking at unexpected obstacles to be found in a lane and how they possibly come to be there.

? Questions:

☠️ Alert:

🛈 Info:

Dangers Lane Obstacles

? What are the obstacles on the road?

Obstacles on the road can vary widely depending on the location, circumstances, and time of occurrence. Here are some common types of obstacles you may encounter while driving:

  • Debris: This includes objects such as tree branches, rocks, construction materials, or other loose items that have fallen or been left on the roadway.

  • Animals: Animals can stray onto the road, including domesticated pets, wildlife, or livestock. Be particularly cautious in rural or wooded areas where wildlife crossings are common.

  • Pedestrians: Pedestrians may inadvertently or intentionally enter the roadway, such as jaywalkers, individuals crossing at non-designated locations, or pedestrians in areas with poor visibility.

  • Disabled Vehicles: Broken-down or disabled vehicles can pose obstacles, especially if they are partially or completely blocking a lane of traffic. Exercise caution and give them a wide berth.

  • Road Work Zones: Construction or maintenance zones may have temporary barriers, traffic cones, or equipment on the roadway, requiring drivers to navigate through narrow lanes or detours.

  • Fallen Trees or Branches: During severe weather conditions or due to tree damage, fallen trees or large branches can obstruct the roadway.

  • Traffic Accidents: Crashes or collisions may result in damaged vehicles, debris, or spilled cargo on the road. Approach accident scenes with caution and follow the instructions of emergency personnel if present.

  • Flooding or Water Accumulation: Heavy rainfall or flooding can cause water to accumulate on the road, creating hazards such as reduced traction or hidden obstacles beneath the water's surface.

  • Obstructed Sight Lines: Objects like tall vegetation, signs, or parked vehicles can obstruct visibility, making it challenging to see oncoming traffic, pedestrians, or road conditions.

It's important to remain attentive and vigilant while driving to detect and respond to obstacles on the road promptly. Always adapt your driving behavior and follow any specific instructions or guidelines provided by local authorities or road signs when encountering obstacles.

☠️ Dangers regarding obstacles

  • Loss of control: Obstacles in the road can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles, particularly if they are traveling at high speeds or are not paying close attention to the road.

  • Damage to vehicles: Obstacles in the road, such as potholes, debris, or fallen branches, can cause damage to vehicles that drive over them.

  • Risk of accidents: Obstacles in the road can cause accidents, particularly if they are unexpected or if drivers swerve to avoid them.

  • Increased likelihood of tire blowouts: Obstacles in the road can cause damage to tires, which can increase the likelihood of blowouts or other tire-related issues.

  • Risk of injury: Pedestrians and cyclists who encounter obstacles in the road may be at increased risk of injury, particularly if they are forced to swerve or lose control of their bikes.

🛈 What to do if there is an obstacle in the road

If you encounter an obstacle on the road while driving, here are some general steps to follow to ensure your safety:

  • Stay Calm: Try to remain calm and focused. Panicking or making sudden, erratic movements can increase the risk of an accident.

  • Assess the Situation: Evaluate the obstacle and its position on the road. Determine if it's stationary or moving, its size, and any potential hazards associated with it.

  • Slow Down: Reduce your speed to give yourself more time to react and maneuver safely. Use your brake pedal gently to slow down, but avoid sudden braking if it can cause a loss of control or create a hazard for other vehicles.

  • Signal and Communicate: If necessary, use your vehicle's hazard lights or signals to indicate to other drivers that there is an obstacle ahead or that you are slowing down. This can help alert them to the potential hazard.

  • Determine the Best Course of Action: Depending on the situation and the obstacle's size, you may need to choose a course of action. Possible options include:

  •    a. Swerving: If it's safe and there is enough space, you may       need to steer around the obstacle. Check your                               surroundings, use your mirrors, and signal your intentions         before changing lanes.

  •    b. Stopping: If the obstacle is large, hazardous, or you                 cannot safely navigate around it, you may need to come to       a complete stop. Ensure that you have adequate space to         stop safely, use your brakes smoothly, and be cautious of           vehicles behind you.

  •    c. Alert Authorities: If the obstacle poses a significant                   danger to other drivers, such as a fallen tree, debris, or a             large animal on the road, contact the local authorities or           emergency services to report the situation and request             assistance.

  • Resume Normal Driving: Once you have navigated around the obstacle or the situation has been resolved, gradually increase your speed and resume normal driving. Stay alert for any potential follow-up hazards or changes in traffic conditions.

Remember, these steps are general guidelines, and the appropriate actions may vary depending on the specific situation, road conditions, and local regulations. Always prioritize your safety and the safety of others on the road when encountering obstacles.

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Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving