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Obstructions When Driving

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 26 Jul 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Dealing With The Obstructions When

Most drivers will come across at least one obstruction when driving that will require some form of reaction. Most of the time, these are relatively straight forward to deal with, as long as you use your common sense judgement when deciding how best to approach the situation.

Roadworks

These are one of the most common forms of obstruction that you might come across, but they are usually not particularly problematic to negotiate. Dealing with them is mostly a matter of respecting the temporary speed limit that has been put in place, and being prepared for slow-moving or stationary traffic, especially if temporary traffic lights have been put up. On roads with two or more lanes of traffic on either side, you should not switch lanes to try to jump the queue. Keep a safe distance behind the vehicle in front of you at all times for safety purposes, otherwise you may not have enough room to stop safely if they have to pull up suddenly.

Breakdowns

If you come across a vehicle that has broken down by the side of the road (or even in the road itself) and is displaying its hazard warning lights (as is required in such a situation), you should approach the situation with extreme caution and leave plenty of room when passing.

Accidents

If you hear the sirens of an emergency vehicle or see one approaching in your mirrors, there may be an accident in the vicinity that needs you need to be aware of.

When going past an accident scene, be cautious as there may be debris around, especially if the accident was a collision involving two or more vehicles. Ensure that you leave plenty of room when passing by, particularly if the accident scene has not yet been cordoned off.

On motorways, it is not uncommon for accidents to involve vehicles that are carrying dangerous goods. If you come across an accident involving one of these types of vehicle, you should leave as much room as possible, as there may be toxic chemicals.

If you suspect that any of the vehicle's occupants are injured as a result of the accident, you should call the emergency services rather than try to move them yourself, as this can cause more harm than good.

However, if you are using a mobile phone to call the emergency services and the accident involves a vehicle that is likely to be carrying dangerous goods, do not stand near the vehicle, as it may well be carrying a flammable load.

Falling objects

If you see something fall off a vehicle in front of you, you should do your best to avoid running over it, as it could damage your tyres or cause a puncture.

If something falls off your car while you are driving, it is probably best to just let it go, particularly if it blows or rolls off in the direction of other vehicles. In most situations, it will not be safe to get out of the car to fetch it.

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