Life is full of unknown surprises. To prepare yourself against the worst, it’s good to have an idea of what to look out for. The roads can be an unforgiving place, so read on to ensure you’re best equipped to deal with all they may throw at you.
Hundreds of thousands of wild animals are killed or injured on Britain’s roads every year. Given their unpredictability, wildlife should be a cause for great concern amongst all motorists.
When driving through heavily wooded areas, pay close attention to your environment and any activity which is taking place nearby. Similarly, take note of road signs which inform you of areas where wildlife activity is most engaged. Saying this, 52% of deer collisions also occur on the motorway, so don’t become too complacent. Wildlife tends to be most active during early mornings or late nights- if you’re driving at these hours, bare this in mind.
Whilst this may be difficult to decipher in the moment, it’s important to weight up the repercussions of avoiding the animal. Is there oncoming traffic which would be affected, if you were to swerve? Would the car behind you stop in time, if you severely braked? Make a judgement call and assess the risks involved-not just for you and the animal, but for the other drivers and passengers too.
In the event you should hit an animal, do not attempt to capture it yourself. Most larger animals are likely to be dangerous, particularly given the shock of the impact. You are legally obliged to stop at the scene and report the incident to the police, who will tend to any traffic disruption or safety risks which may have unfolded. They can also get in touch with an animal rescuer, if the animal were to survive the accident.
Insurance claims can be made if your car is damaged or the driver/passengers are injured upon impact. However, the terms and conditions are a little hazy- if the animal is a pet or property of a farm, they are liable for the responsibility of the incident. Make sure you exchange details with any other drivers who may be involved or who have witnessed the event.
The risk of accidents drastically increases when certain road elements take a turn for the worst. When road signs or traffic signals get confused, drivers can become disorientated and lose focus on the basic fundamentals of driving. Whilst it’s important to stay engaged with what’s around you, make sure to pay close attention to the road directly ahead.
Weather can have a dramatic effect on the roads’ surfaces. Given how temperamental the weather is in the UK, staying conscious of the problems it can create is very important. When it rains, roads are a lot less forgiving in terms of stopping distances. Likewise, when it’s foggy or the rain is plummeting down, visibility will also be affected. Be aware of how the weather can influence both the roads and your driving. Proceed with caution- better safe than sorry!
Harsh, but true- there’s no guarantee that everyone on the roads is as an accomplished driver as yourself! Give people the benefit of the doubt- don’t drive too close to other drivers and if a motorist appears particularly anxious or indecisive, cut them some additional space and time.
As much as it can be tempting to let other drivers know the error of their ways, avoid road rage and focus your attention to driving safely. If they are proving a danger to you and your vehicle, simply press on your horn so that they are aware and calmly manoeuvre yourself out of the situation.
Prevention is better than cure. With this mind, make sure your car is safe to drive before you venture out onto the roads.