How to Avoid a Collision Due to Road Debris

man and woman car accident with black and blue car

Now that summer activities, vacations and road trips are in full swing, more and more people are driving on highways, back roads and main streets. The chance of encountering some debris while driving is pretty high. From objects that have fallen out of trucks to trash and broken signs, there’s a big risk of popping a tire or getting into an accident to avoid those objects.

A collision can be dangerous to your safety, of course, but even minor collisions can lead to the need for expensive auto body repair. Check out these tips so you can minimize the risk of a collision due to road debris.

Remain Alert

Being alert when driving means you can react quickly to potential problems, such as when you come up quickly on road debris or the car ahead of you suddenly puts on their brakes. The use of alcohol or drugs can affect your reaction time and judgment, but so will drowsy driving and distracted driving, which are the top causes of crashes, says TeensHealth. Always make sure you’re rested before you set out.

Watch Your Speed

Next, be sure to drive at a moderate speed. When you’re speeding and come upon road debris, it’s hard to avoid a collision. But when you drive slower, you’ll buy yourself time to avoid any object that may pass your path. Driving at a moderate pace gives you extra response time to apply the brakes so as to avoid colliding with something.

Heed the Right Stopping Sight Distance (SSD)

The SSD is the minimum distance a vehicle needs to stop when applying the brakes. This will vary with the speed of the vehicle. Keep an eye on the SSD while being on the lookout for debris pieces in the road.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Pay attention when driving at all times, especially during times of low visibility such as dusk or nighttime. Be sure to check your mirrors frequently while scanning conditions ahead of you by about 20 to 30 seconds. Be on the lookout for a vehicle showing signs of aggressive driving or signs of road debris. If you spot this behavior or see debris, pull over or slow down.

If you have to swerve to avoid something, weigh the risks of car damage vs. the possibility of hitting an innocent pedestrian or bicyclist.

Stay a Safe Distance Behind

Keep an appropriate distance between your car and the one ahead of you. Tailgating only decreases your response time, making you completely reliant on the driver in front of you. If they stop suddenly, you will have nowhere to go but into their rear bumper.

Alert the Authorities

Road safety is a cumulative effort by all drivers. If you spot dangerous debris on the road, such as large tire pieces or car parts, report the situation to the relevant authorities as soon as it is safe to do so. You could save a life!

Road debris causes thousands of fatalities a year. Be safe and keep these tips in mind whenever you’re out driving, whether down the street or on a road trip for vacation.

Know the Risks

There are many risk factors to be aware of when it comes to debris crashes:

  • High Speed: Debris-related accidents occur most often on interstate highways due to the high speed limits that are conducive to cargo and vehicle components flying off. The impact can be severe.
  • Time of Day: Most debris-related crashes happen between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., which is when most people such as contractors haul heavy or large equipment such as furniture or tools.
  • Swerving: AAA says one in three deaths attributed to a road debris crash is the result of swerving in order to avoid an object in the road. Suddenly overcorrecting to avoid debris results in loss of control for the driver, which boosts the severity of the crash.

Contact Hance’s Uptown Collision Center

If you have been in an unfortunate collision where you couldn’t avoid road debris, we can return your vehicle to like-new condition. Call Hance’s Uptown Collision Center today for auto body repair, paintless dent repair and collision repair services. Get in touch to schedule an appointment online or call us at 214-214-4730 or 214-225-5966.

 

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