Driving in dangerous conditions is something any driving training program and certificate will prepare you for. However, these “dangerous conditions” normally mean unavoidable conditions – driving in rain, snow, sun glare, and so on. Nevertheless, what also counts as dangerous conditions is when the roads are substandard, or when they go through difficult terrain.
Valtir, producers of various highway protection products like highway guardrails, say that highway safety is as much the responsibility of highway authorities and maintenance services as it is of drivers. But sometimes, certain roads can become, on account of degradation or damage, more dangerous. When this happens, it is often impractical (and unnecessary) to close the roads outright, but this does require extra diligence and care on the part of drivers when driving on such roads.
So, there are many just circumstances that can lead to a safety-compromised driving experience, besides those weather and traffic conditions that we are prepared for when we learn to drive. Many drivers do not actually know what these are, and so this is the first step to becoming a better driver.
While much of what counts as dangerous road conditions is on account of compromised roads, sometimes those problems are only temporary. There may be temporary objects on the road that affect traffic, or there could be lane reductions. These problems can even be the result of ongoing maintenance, but they still represent dangerous road conditions and so are worth looking out for.
Sometimes, there is nothing anybody can do about a road being more dangerous. You can add all the safety infrastructure you like, but winding mountain roads with sharp corners or roads through areas where livestock crossings are necessary and common are simply the type of roads that pose more risk – if there is going to be any roads through that terrain at all. The best way to prepare for these is to research any new areas you are driving into beforehand, and to learn the highway signs that alert you to upcoming dangerous roads.
Types of Dangerous Roads
So, the best way to become a much safer all-round driver is to learn about a few of the most common compromised roads – the types of roads you should take more care on. If these are roads that you are obliged to take regularly, then the next step is to learn how to tackle them in each specific case.
Here follows a few examples of dangerous road conditions:
Isolated Ice Patches
These come with snowy weather, but they can hang around for a while after the easily visible snow has gone. Often called black ice, these patches form without anybody knowing and are hard to see. You should always drive carefully when it’s cold and look immediately in front of you for these patches.
These are examples of roads that have to be dangerous. Sometimes, intersections can be very busy and be arranged along angles that are not great for visibility. You might need some time to learn how to navigate one that you encounter regularly.
Oil and Chip
Oil and Chip is a temporary fix for roads, one that does not offer the best grip. If it is allowed to lie for too long, it can become even more slippery. If you spot a patch of oil and chip coming up, drive a bit slower and take care.
There are many more examples of dangerous road conditions, but the important take-away here is that these can vary massively, and the only real way to be prepared is to get to know the area through which you are driving.