TOP 3 HIGHWAY HAZARDS
Highway hazards increase the likelihood that drivers will get into car accidents if said drivers aren’t aware of the hazard and how to appropriately respond to it. First, highways that are covered in water after a recent storm are slicker than usual due to two factors: (a) the water and (b) the oil that is lifted from the street by the water.
Second, tire blowouts are another common highway hazard that causes accidents not because the car is immediately thrown out of control but because the driver is too focused on identifying the cause of the blowout (or commotion, as the driver may not know it is a blowout at this point) rather than on controlling the vehicle. Third, children climbing out of car seats is a similar dangerous distraction because it pulls the driver’s attention from operating the vehicle.
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Slick roads are dangerous because the traction conditions are substantially changed from what the driver ordinarily drives through. If the highway roads are slick and the driver skids out of control it is recommended the driver “turn into the skid” which means picking a specific point on the road and gently driving toward it. An automatic instinct is to swerve the wheel or hit the brakes but both these actions can result in loss of control. Rather, drivers should gently release the gas and slowly turn into a specific point – the car will eventually come under control.
Similar to skidding out, drivers should focus on taking their foot off the gas and allowing the car to slow down naturally on the highway. Some drivers react by trying to identify the cause of the commotion but turning toward the blowout can cause a driver to accidentally turn the wheel which can result in a loss of control.
Children who leave their car seats are distracting for drivers. However, it is critical drivers remain calm to keep their child under control and to maintain control of the vehicle. Drivers who begin yelling increase the likelihood their child will react poorly which could cause an accident – while their child is not safely buckled. Parent should pull off the roadway as far as they can and calmly buckle their child back into their car seat. The driver should also do this from the side away from the roadway – to reduce the chance the parent will be hit by an oncoming car.
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