It is that time of year again. The kids have been released from school on break, and the family is gearing up for another fun-filled road trip. When taking a road trip across the country, it is always expected that your family makes it to their destination and home again safely. For this reason, it is a good idea to be on the lookout for and avoid common dangers when driving. The following are six common hazards to which you should give heed.
Falling Asleep Behind the Wheel
It is late at night and the road seems to stretch on forever. You have been feeling a little drowsy. What you are not completely aware of is that you have been taking micro-naps while you are driving. Instead of continuing to drive in this state, it is best to pull over somewhere and take a twenty minute nap to ensure that you will be safe behind the wheel. If it is late and all drivers are tired, find a place to stay for the night. You should also be on the lookout for other drowsy drivers on long stretches without stops.
Check Your Tires
Before you take off down the road, it is important to check if your tires are in good repair. From the condition of the tire treads to the air pressure, properly maintained tires are a key to safe driving on long trips. Having a blow out at the wrong time can both startle a driver and cause an accident.
If you like to drive through the night, it is important to watch out for drunk drivers. At around 2-o’clock in the morning, the bars tend to close in most areas. This means that a lot of drunk, impaired drivers may be on the road. If you see a car swerving, it is generally a smart idea to put a lot of distance between yourself and the other car. This may mean slowing down or even taking another route to your destination, but it is better to be cautious than to become a victim of a drunk driver. According to some lawyers in Austin, Texas, driving behaviors that police look for include problems in maintaining proper lane position and speed or braking problems. Be sure to look out for any drivers that won’t stay in their lane, especially in highways with higher speed limits .
Debris in the Road
When driving on a long road trip, it is common to find the highways and interstates littered with all kinds of debris. From boxes to pop bottles, the items that accumulate on the road can cause a driver to lose control of their car. The impact with larger items can produce considerable damage to the front and underneath of a vehicle.
A particularly dangerous situation for any driver to be in is to be caught in an extremely heavy downpour. A little rain is navigable, but in a situation involving heavy rainfall, it may be next to impossible to see the cars in front of you. In like manner, other drivers may not notice your car. If at all possible, it is best to pull off of the road and wait out the storm.
Patches of Ice and Snow
If you are used to living in a warmer climate, you may find it difficult to drive in colder regions. Patches of heavy ice and snow give rise to many inexperienced cold-weather drivers losing control of their vehicle. Landing in a snow embankment may not be such a bad outcome, but spinning out into oncoming traffic is a potentially deadly scenario for all vehicles involved.
Taking a road trip is supposed to be fun for the whole family. Paying attention to potential hazardous situations along the way will help to minimize the opportunity for injury or death. If ever in doubt, it is best to pull over to avoid driving under unsafe driving conditions. Age and experience should convince you that it is always smarter to be safe than sorry.