One of the most common safety reminders for motorists is to avoid distracted driving. Sure, driving distracted could mean you collide with another vehicle, but it could also impede your ability to respond to hazardous road conditions.
Road debris can cause panic, especially if you come upon an object in the road suddenly. Knowing how to anticipate and react to such conditions may enable you to reduce your risks of injury and respond safely.
When you are the driver that happens upon debris in the road, vigilance is your number one weapon. Always maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you. This way, if the vehicle in front of you diverts immediately, you still have ample time to respond before you hit the debris. Never drive distracted. Actions as simple as programming your radio or handing a snack to a backseat passenger can divert your attention just long enough that you may not notice what lies ahead.
A common reaction to road debris is to swerve out of the way. When this happens, most drivers end up overcorrecting which can result in a severe accident. Constantly scanning the road ahead and staying alert at all times may enable you to respond with control and move out of the way without knee-jerk reactions that often end in disaster.
Towing a trailer or driving with a vehicle laden with cargo means you could potentially drop something onto the roadway. According to AAA, two-thirds of accidents blamed on road debris happen because of poorly secured loads or inadequate vehicle maintenance. When carrying objects in your vehicle or on a transport trailer affixed to your vehicle, use proper techniques to secure everything. Avoid the temptation to overload your vehicle.
Because road debris is at fault for some serious and even fatal accidents, your vigilance can protect yourself and others on the road from a dangerous situation. Whether you need to tow something or you encounter road debris as a driver, using caution may make all the difference in your outcome.