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Avoiding Roadside Dangers

By Hannah Warder

For most drivers, their car is vital; a means of travelling from ‘A’ to ‘B’, to commute to work or simply to ferry the kids about. For others, their cars are used to escape, a necessity with benefits, or just a hobby. But so often drivers become too self assure and ignore the subtle perils of the open road.

With 30% of traffic accidents occurring less than 1 mile [1] from home and the rise in traffic on the roads (by 12% between 1997 and 2007) [2], it is important that road users are aware of the different dangers that face motorists. Ignorance to hazards can cause accidents which can result in costly car insurance premiums, injuries and even fatalities.

Here, in no particular order, we have suggested five dangers motorists should take into account when driving.

1) Cyclists
Ok, so we are all familiar with the environmental benefits of cycling, but anyone can hop on a bike and cycle into the unknown. So few cyclists have taken the cycling proficiency exam, and even fewer abide by the Highway Code [3].

Without bright visibility clothing and functioning lighting, many cyclists result in being practically invisible until the unsuspecting motorist is driving behind them. Many cut in and out of traffic jams, with little consideration that they are cutting in and out of the motorist’s view.

2) Children and Teenagers
Children playing in residential streets can cause a hazard. Hidden from the view of oncoming traffic, children can appear suddenly from in-between parked cars, causing a danger for themselves and road users. It is important that in residential areas and near schools especially, motorists are extra vigilant and maintain the speed limit at all times.

Not only do young children present a hazard to motorists, teenagers also cause accidents due to their lack of concentration. Personal stereos, hooded clothing and even using a mobile phone takes their concentration off the perils of the road. Extra caution should be taken when approaching groups and individual teenagers [4].

3) Speed Cameras
Although they are designed to reduce the number of accidents on a road by reducing speed, drivers on unknown roads tend to slow down suddenly before a camera, causing a hazard for those driving immediately behind. It is therefore important to maintain the recommended two second gap [5] stopping distance at all times, to ensure sudden braking is accounted for.

4) Accidents and Road Works
Road works cause an issue when some motorists become frustrated and take risks [6]. It is important that caution is taken when passing through an area with road works, to avoid any dangers.

When accidents do occur, it can cause a distraction to passing traffic. It is crucial that drivers maintain concentration on the road ahead rather than any incidents on the roadside.

5) Litter and Rubbish
Litter and rubbish dumped at the road side can spill onto the road, which could get in the drivers way. It is important that motorists are vigilant and are aware of such hazards when driving.

Broken glass, oil and even plastic carrier bags can cause a skid, a blow-out or simply obscure the view of the driver [7].

In all instances of roadside dangers, it is crucial that road users (drivers and pedestrians alike), use caution when on the road and are continuously aware of their surrounds and the hidden dangers that may be lurking at the roadside.

[1] WhatCar.Com – (August, 2009).
[2] Times Online – (January, 2008).
[3] GMTV –
[4] Think Driving –
[5] Direct Gov –
[6] Smart Motorist –
[7] Direct Gov –

Hannah Warder writes for MediaVest (Manchester) on a number of car related topics such as car insurance quotes.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Warder, Hannah "Avoiding Roadside Dangers." Avoiding Roadside Dangers. 3 Jul. 2010. 27 Jul 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Warder, H (2010, July 3). Avoiding Roadside Dangers. Retrieved July 27, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Warder, Hannah "Avoiding Roadside Dangers"

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