Sometimes, even the safest driver can encounter trouble on the road as a result of poorly-maintained local infrastructure. Maybe the road lines have faded, or important signage has been destroyed or removed. In these situations, it’s vital for drivers to take extreme caution and employ defensive driving techniques to stay safe.
Here are some hazardous driving conditions that can occur on poorly-maintained roads and how to handle them.
Missing signs on a weathered road can pose a hazard to all drivers. If an intersection has no stop sign, it’s more likely that drivers will enter simultaneously, resulting in traffic accidents. If you find yourself driving through a remote area and notice intersections with no stop signs, slow and check traffic both ways before proceeding.
Defensive driving techniques encourage motorists to move slowly and to remain vigilant for oncoming traffic. These tactics are especially effective when road signage is missing, as it allows the defensive driver to stay safe in unfamiliar surroundings.
When maintenance breaks down in remote areas, it can leave the road surface in a poor state of repair. For example, weather and traffic can wear down roads and create gaps in the pavement called potholes. Hitting a pothole at regular driving speeds can cause tires to pop, damage suspension, or even result in a traffic accident.
When driving on rough roads, keep your eyes peeled for potholes. If traffic is too heavy to move your car to avoid the pothole, slow down. Taking the disruption at a slower speed will help reduce the damage to your vehicle.
Likewise, poor maintenance can lead to uneven road grading. In these conditions, driving can seem unstable and troublesome. You might need to keep your steering wheel angled to stay on the road, making it more difficult to stay with the flow of traffic.
In some extreme cases, roads can fall into such deep disrepair that they have neither lines nor guard rails. In these circumstances, it’s vital for drivers to employ defensive techniques to avoid running off the road or drifting into other lanes.
Continue traveling under the speed limit and avoid attempting to pass other drivers on roads in this state of deep disrepair. Without guide rails or lane demarcation, it’s easy to get into an accident and have your vehicle tumble off the road into a ditch. Remember, it’s better to get to your destination behind schedule than never get there at all!