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How to Avoid Falling Victim to Highway Hazards (Posted on May 5 2010)

There are many potentially dangerous circumstances or situations which can arise when driving on the open road.  Some of these situations are discussed in the following paragraphs, along with suggestions for meeting them.

The Slowpoke Driver
This is the so called Sunday driver who insists on driving much slower than other traffic.  He constitutes a real hazard.  Cars line up behind him and become anxious to get by.  Use care in passing the slowpoke.  Wait your turn.  Do not become impatient, and pass only when it is clear, and safe to do so.

Safety Driving Around Slow Moving Vehicles
Farm machinery and other slow moving vehicles can also create a dangerous situation.  These vehicles can be recognized by the triangular orange sign displayed on the rear of the vehicle.  When you are approaching such a vehicle, slow down well in advance and pass only when it is safe to do so.

highway safety

Safety Drivng Around Construction Zones
When entering a construction area, slow down and be prepared to stop.  Obey all posted construction signs and speeds.  Watch out for flag men who may stop you.  Sometimes traffic may only move in one direction around the construction area and the traffic approaching from the other direction must wait until the way is clear.

Railway Crossings Safety
Many people are killed each year on railway crossings.  In some cases the motorists were trying to beat the train to the crossing.  Other accidents have been caused by poor visibility.  Some people, after stopping for one train, proceeded across only to be struck by another train coming from the opposite direction because they did not wait until the way was clear.

railway safety

When approaching railway crossings, slow down, check the tracks in both directions, and proceed cautiously when it is clear to do so.  Many vehicles stop at all railway crossings, so if you are following such a vehicle, be alert and keep a safe following distance.  Never gamble with a train at a crossing.  You cannot win!

Driving Safely Around Motorcycles and Bicycles
When approaching motorcycles or bicycles on the highway, extreme caution must be exercised.  When you are overtaking from behind, sound your horn gently to warn of your approach.  Always pass on the left and allow plenty of room for the cyclist.  When meeting an oncoming cyclist.  When meeting an oncoming cyclist, slow down and pass well over to the right side of your lane.  At night, be careful of a vehicle with only one light approaching you, since this could be a motorcycle or a car with one headlight.  Slow down, stay well to the right, and exercise extreme caution.

Driving Safely Around Intersections and Highway Junctions
On highways you will encounter many intersections, crossroads, and farm lanes.  All of these should be approached with caution.  A vehicle may enter your traffic lane with very little warning, or a car may ignore a stop sign at a junction.  Be prepared for any such emergency by observing all such crossings well in advance, and by driving with your eyes focused as far ahead as possible.

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