When you are behind the wheel you never really know when disaster might strike and you might be forced to contend with an emergency situation.
You can try and stay safe on the highways if you drive with care and remain vigilant, which is certainly important when you consider some of the dangers you face on a daily basis, including debris on the road.
Here is a look at how to avoid the dangers of debris. Including some startling accident statistics, an insight into the main causes of accidents, plus some tips on loading your vehicle safely and how to adopt defensive driving tactics.
Even if you are a cautious driver who takes great care to travel the highways at a sensible speed and with great courtesy towards other drivers, you still run the risk of getting caught up in a dangerous situation and becoming one of the many reported crashes each day.
If you look at a typical three year period of reported accidents and deaths on U.S roadways it is very clear that you need to take as many precautions as possible if you want to complete your journey safely every time.
Over 200,000 police reported crashes and over 500 confirmed deaths were noted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The same organization also consider that a good number of these crashes could have been prevented.
Eyes on the road
Some of the reported crashes could have been prevented if the car owners had properly maintained their vehicles and secured their loads safely.
It is suggested that as many as two-thirds of reported accidents that involve mention of objects on the highway are caused by debris falling off a vehicle and into the path of oncoming traffic.
If you are traveling along a major highway there is an increased chance that you will be traveling at a higher speed, and this makes your encounter with debris even more dangerous.
Over a third of deaths involving debris-related crashes are caused by the driver swerving to avoid the object that is on the road in front of them, often causing them to lose control of their vehicle and suffer the consequences.
Windshield replacement is the least of your worries in these circumstances, and the fact that the drivers at fault for the debris face penalties in most states and even jail time in some of them, is little comfort to the drivers or their loved ones when they are injured or lose their life as a result.
Don’t be a victim or a perpetrator
When you are talking about leaving debris on the road, the primary aim if you are carrying a heavy load is to make sure that it is secured safely and your vehicle is not overloaded.
If you are going to be moving large objects, make sure you use all the available options such as netting, rope, and straps, so that you can find the best solution to securing your load and making sure it is not going to spill onto the highway if you make any tight turns or sharp moves.
Another important aspect to consider is the maintenance of your vehicle.
If your tires are worn, you are risking the prospect of a blowout at high speed. This is not only dangerous to your own safety as you could lose control of your vehicle, but large pieces of rubber could fall off and into the path of other vehicles, causing them to take evasive action.
You don’t want to be the perpetrator of the crime and the same applies to doing what you can to avoid becoming a victim as well.
If you are driving behind a vehicle carrying cargo, it makes sense to be extra careful and take a defensive approach to your driving. This means leaving plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front so that you have more time to react if something lands on the highway in front of you.
As a general rule, it would be a good idea to practice defensive driving at all times on the highway.
Maintain a distance of one car length for every 10 mph of speed you are doing, and always look out for vehicles traveling in the adjacent lanes so that you can quickly spot if they suddenly change lanes or appear to be driving erratically.
If you want to stay safe on the highways you will always have to consider the possibility of debris getting in your way or causing a problem to others.
Anthony Chavira has over 15 years experience repairing and replacing damaged auto glass. He now owns one of the most trusted windshield and auto glass repair shops in all of Florida. He also loves a good workout session and can bench press all your kids.