From small chunks of blown-out tires to full pieces of furniture, road debris seems to be virtually everywhere these days. While maintenance crews try to keep roadways clean and safe, you may eventually encounter a potentially dangerous object on the pavement directly in front of your vehicle.
According a study from AAA, road debris contributed to more than 200,000 motor vehicle accidents in a recent four-year period. Here are four ways you can minimize your chances of sustaining a serious injury in a debris-related crash.
1. Look further down the road
When you drive, you must pay attention to the immediate area around your vehicle. If you do not look further down the road, though, you may have insufficient time to react to road debris. Therefore, constantly scan parts of the road you will not pass over for another 12 or 15 seconds.
2. Reduce your speed
If you see road debris, you must expect the unexpected. After all, you cannot predict how other drivers may react to an object in the road. Reducing your speed until you and other nearby drivers pass the object increases your response time and allows you to maneuver safely around the debris.
3. Avoid tailgating
Following too closely is often a recipe for disaster. Put simply, if you are tailgating the vehicle in front of you, you may not see road debris until it is too late to respond appropriately.
4. Alert authorities
Even seemingly small road debris may be dangerous for motorists. Therefore, if you successfully pass something that should not be on the roadway, you should alert authorities to the debris. Because a dispatcher is likely to send a crew to remove the hazard, you do your part to keep others safe.