Road debris is a major hazard on the roads. It can cause serious motor vehicle accidents and even fatalities. In order to avoid a collision with road debris, it is important to be aware of its presence and take steps to avoid it — and in so doing, also avoid costly collision repair.
There are a few things that you can do to avoid road debris:
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Pay attention to the road and be aware of your surroundings. This includes looking out for potential hazards such as potholes, loose gravel and debris.
If you see an accident coming up ahead, do not try to avoid it by swerving. This could cause you to lose control of your vehicle and collide with oncoming traffic or hit a stationary object.
Instead, slow down and brake gently. You may need to come to a stop if the debris is blocking the road.
Being aware of your surroundings means also being aware of other drivers. You don’t want to avoid debris in a way that only causes you to swerve and hit another driver.
If you see a driver who is not paying attention or seems to be driving erratically, give them a wide berth. You don’t want to be involved in their accident.
In short, the best way to avoid a collision is to stay alert and drive defensively. Pay attention to the road and other drivers, and be ready to react to whatever comes your way.
Be Aware of Your Speed
One of the most important things you can do to avoid a collision is to always be aware of your speed. It can be easy to let your foot off the gas and coast along, but this can lead to problems.
If you’re going too fast, it’s harder to stop if something suddenly appears in front of you. And if you’re going too slow, you might get rear-ended by another car. Either way, it’s best to keep your speed at a safe level so you can react quickly if necessary.
Be Aware of Stopping Sight Distance (SSD)
Stopping sight distance is the distance it takes for your car to come to a complete stop. This is affected by your speed, as well as the condition of your brakes and tires.
You should always be aware of SSD so you know how much distance you need to stop in an emergency. Learn how to calculate SSD here.
Stay a Good Distance Behind Other Drivers
If you tailgate, or follow too closely behind another driver, you’re more likely to get into an accident.
If the other driver has to stop suddenly, you might not have enough time to react and could rear-end them.
It’s important to give yourself enough space so you can see what’s happening in front of the other driver and have time to react.
A good rule of thumb is to follow at least three car lengths behind the vehicle in front of you. This will give you enough time to brake if necessary.
Use Your Turn Signals
Using your turn signals lets other drivers know what you’re planning to do.
If you don’t use your turn signals, you’re more likely to cause an accident. For example, if you’re planning to turn but don’t signal, the driver behind you might not expect it and could crash into you.
Always use your turn signals, even if you think no one is around. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Drive the Speed Limit
Driving too fast is one of the most common causes of car accidents. If you’re driving over the speed limit, you’re more likely to lose control of your vehicle or crash into someone — especially if there’s road debris that you’ll need to quickly maneuver around.
It’s always best to stick to the speed limit, even if you’re in a hurry. You can always make up for lost time later.
Keep Your Car in Good Condition
Making sure your car is in good condition is one of the best ways to avoid a collision. This means regularly checking things like your tires, brakes and lights.
If your tires are bald or your brakes are squeaking, it’s time to get them fixed. Don’t wait until it’s too late.