Why is it essential to adjust to road and weather conditions?
Anyone who has attended a defensive driving course must have gone through this before as part of the training. If you haven’t been to one of those, today is your lucky day. Adjusting your speed to match road conditions is mainly common sense. Just because there is a road speed limit doesn’t mean you must drive at that speed in all states.
Under normal conditions (sealed roads and sunny days), drivers are confident on the road and can safely maneuver their vehicles. What happens when, all of a sudden, that changes? Either due to rain or potholes.
Every driver should consider their own safety and the safety of other road users under poor road and weather conditions. Let’s explore some of the road conditions that lead to accidents.
1. Poorly maintained roads
Poorly maintained roads are one of the country’s leading causes of auto accidents. Bad roads are caused by torrential rain, a lack of regular maintenance, open gutters, construction zones, and traffic conditions.
Torrential rain causes the roads to become slippery
Torrential rain brings debris from open gutters and canals to the road
Torrential rain creates potholes through pooling water and erosion
2. Lack of regular maintenance
In Accra, when there is a crack on the road, a pothole, or the road starts losing bitumen (black seal), it’s left uncared for until the road conditions become unbearable, causing heavy traffic in significant parts of the city. This leads to accidents, especially for overly confident drivers unfamiliar with road conditions.
3. Open gutters
This is a significant hazard not only for drivers but also for pedestrians. When there is heavy rainfall, drivers and pedestrians alike cannot see the gutters due to flooding. Hence, some pedestrians and drivers fall into these gutters. The debris from open gutters is littered on the roads during heavy rainfall, which can lead to accidents.
4. Construction zones
Heavy-duty trucks carrying gravel and sand to construction zones often litter the roads, causing them to be uneven. An uneven road can make a driver lose control of his vehicle, especially at top speed.
5. Traffic conditions
Oil patches on the road from vehicles can cause slippery conditions for other drivers, leading to an accident.
When it’s raining, people get uneasy and stressed. They want to get under cover as quickly as possible, causing them to drive at higher speeds than they would normally. This can be extremely dangerous due to poor visibility and slippery roads.
Under such bad weather conditions, everything is heightened. The task of driving becomes more difficult because your vision is blurred, and your vehicle is doing more work than usual. The wet roads and brakes make braking much slower.
7. Unsealed roads
The city of Accra has much dirt or off-roads, and drivers’ have to use these roads to get to their destinations. This can be highly challenging for road users of all vehicle types.
You know that not all vehicles are suitable for these sorts of roads, as they can be harsh on the tires and suspension of your vehicle. We suggest you slow down when traversing such roads.
Many accidents occur under optimal conditions and worsen under lousy road and weather conditions. You need to drive under the speed limit at such times and anticipate these hazards. Ensure your vehicle is serviced and maintained regularly. The last thing you need is to be stuck in a flooded area, and there is no one to help at such critical times.
Think safety all the time and drive defensively.
Be honest. When was the last time your staff took a defensive driving course? Learn more about how we can help improve your fleet operations, save lives, and reduce costs. Send an email or call us.
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