Defensive driving tactics often require you to understand dangerous conditions and how to react to them when you are on the road. Dangerous conditions exist all over the globe, and depending on where you are located may be numerous in number.
Some dangerous conditions are quick to appear, almost as if out of nowhere. Others conditions allow for at least some warning time before they pose a hazard to drivers.
Some of the more common dangerous conditions you might encounter include:
- Bad weather
- Difficult road conditions
- Poor light or glare
- Heavy traffic
- Road work
In addition to hazards caused by human error, you may also have to contend with hazards caused by dangerous road and weather conditions. For example:
Bad weather conditions, such as rain, fog, wind, snow, or ice can make driving treacherous and dangerous.
Difficult road conditions, such as sharp curves, busy intersections, uneven surfaces, or obstacles in the road can lead to accidents.
Poor light at night or glare during the day can reduce visibility and are often the cause of accidents.
Heavy traffic, with a lot of stop and go, people changing lanes, and so on
Road work, with reduced or narrowed lanes; or accidents, which can cause dangerous conditions for drivers approaching the accident scene.
When confronted with a dangerous condition the best advice is to slow down. Driving too fast in hazardous conditions can and does lead to many of the accidents that occur on the roadways. By simply slowing down, you can give yourself the added time it takes to see and react to what is happening in front of you and around you.
Defensive driving tactics also require you to pull over and stop at times if the conditions are so severe that proceeding would be hazardous. It is often better to stop and wait it out than to try to move through certain conditions.