Careful commercial or owner operator truck drivers anticipate danger from other vehicles. While there is no shortage of traffic related hazards, one shouldn’t overlook the road itself. Dangerous road conditions have caused or contributed to many traffic accidents. These may be caused by the weather, poor road construction, poor design, or poor maintenance. In addition to your usual defensive driving, watch for dangerous road conditions.
Note that even if poor road conditions don’t cause problems for your rig, they can cause an accident in front of you. A number of these hazards are discussed here. Here are five more:
Dried Grease and Oil
When it hasn’t rained for a while, grease and oil from trucks and cars build up on the pavement and dry out. As long as the road remains dry, the traction is reasonably good. However, the first ten minutes of rain will produce a dangerously slick surface. Any hard braking or swerving maneuvers in these conditions may cause an accident. Be aware of this possibility on roads that get a lot of traffic.
Bridges and Overpasses
When the temperature is below freezing, wet road surfaces on bridges and overpasses freeze first. This phenomenon takes many people by surprise because a road with perfectly good traction will instantly become black ice on these structures. Black ice is difficult to see, so you have to treat every bridge and overpass as suspect.
Areas of poor drainage mean puddles in warm weather and black ice in cold weather. A puddle shouldn’t present a problem if you’re prepared for it, but if traffic circumstances demand hard braking, you may have insufficient traction on a puddle. Another danger is hydroplaning. Poor drainage is especially insidious in cold weather when it produces black ice.
Excessive Crack Seals
Crack sealant is used for roads with minor crack damage. This becomes a problem when used excessively to repair a surface that requires repaving. Crack sealant is slippery when wet. Be aware of this in wet weather when driving on pavement with dense cobwebs of sealant.
Cracked and Broken up Pavement
Roads that are long overdue for maintenance work will have extensive sections of broken up pavement. There will be potholes and large cracks. Even the “smooth” sections are little more than a collection of loose tar chunks that fit together in jigsaw fashion. These will slide and roll under your wheels during hard braking.
Be prepared by driving carefully and watching for the above hazards. In addition, make sure your Georgia commercial or owner operator truck insurance provides enough coverage to get you through an accident. For more information, contact us at J.E.B. Insurance Services.