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Saturday, June 15, 2024
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Dodging Dangers

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When driving, there are many road hazards to look out for. Here are some of the most dangerous conditions that can lead to accidents

As a driver, being on high alert at all times is paramount for the safety of other road users, your passengers, and yourself. Here are some road hazards to watch out for, and how to safely anticipate or respond to them.

Road Works

Roadworks seem to be a never-ending feature on Singapore’s roads, and they are often a perfect storm of road hazards, with heavy equipment and vehicles, barricades, and workers in the mix. When you spot a road sign warning of road works, always slow down and keep your eyes peeled. In the event of a major road works site, there may be traffic controllers deployed to direct traffic flow, so make sure to follow them closely.

Since roadworks are planned ahead, you may want to plan your route in advance to avoid them by referring to traffic updates.

Flooding or Large Puddles

Whether it’s a puddle or a more severe case of ponding, bodies of standing water on roads should always be dealt with very cautiously. As all drivers should know, driving through water at high speeds may cause the vehicle to slide uncontrollably; in other words, to aquaplane. To prevent this from happening, always drive at a slower speed in inclement weather – this also prevents your vehicle from splashing water onto others, which may obscure their windscreens.  In addition, the cruise control should be turned off too until you exit the flooded area or puddle.

If you start to lose control of your vehicle, stay composed and slowly decelerate while keeping the steering wheel straight.

In addition, as a general rule of thumb, and not just during wet weather, check your tyres regularly to ensure they are fit for the roads.

Potholes

When it comes to these irksome depressions in the roads worsened by wear and tear and wet weather, it is always best to avoid them since they can cause damage to your vehicle. The worst part? Pothole damage is usually not covered by insurance!

If it’s too late to avoid a pothole, resist the temptation to speed over it as it can damage your tyres and suspension. Slow down instead.

Oil Patches

Oil slicks on the roads are usually caused by leaking vehicles. As you can imagine, driving on oily patches is just one slip away from disaster. Should you encounter an oil patch, do not brake but steer firmly and calmly until you have driven across it.

Rubbernecking

Rubbernecking, or the act of slowing down to look at an accident scene, is one of the reasons why slow traffic forms around the collision area, even on the lanes opposite it. Apart from the inconvenience of being caught in a jam, rubbernecking can be dangerous too. When a driver brakes suddenly or takes their eyes off the road for nosy reasons, it may cause yet another accident. The key takeaway? Don’t be a “kaypoh” and become a road hazard yourself!