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Top Ten Roadside Dangers and Cons

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 28 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Top Ten Roadside Dangers Roadside Scam

There are lots of things that can cause a problem for the average motorist while driving around, whether it be on small country roads or on big motorway networks. Distraction can be a major problem for drivers, and is the cause of many road accidents every year.

Top Ten Roadside Dangers (in no particular order)

1. Litter

Litter or bags dumped at the side of the road can easily break and spill across a small road or large carriageway, making it tricky for road users. If anything with glass or oil in it is broken, it can make it exceedingly dangerous for motorists, as can stray items of clothing escaping onto a road, as people often think it is a small animal – especially if it happens at night and vision is limited.

2. Children

Children can be a real roadside danger in any area, but this is more likely to be relevant on smaller roads around residential areas. On enclosed housing estates, children often play football on the road, or sit on the kerbside in groups playing games as most of the time it is safe for them to do so. Remember too that children aren’t always going to be road aware, and especially if they are excited by game play, they might end up accidentally running into the road.

3. Animals

Animals too are often used to limited traffic in some areas and so pet cats can treat the road as part of their domain and appear without much warning in the middle of the road. Always drive slowly in these areas as it’s often very difficult to see around parked cars and other obstacles. Also be very alert around parks and fields as a dog off its lead may get spooked by something and run straight off the park and into the road.

4. Cyclists

Cyclists will usually be riding in a cycle lane – but where there isn’t one, they will be close to the side of the road. Be careful and always try to be aware of the possibility of cyclists coming up alongside you.

5. Pedestrians

If there are works going on around a paved area, you might find pedestrians stepping into the street to carry on their way. If you see cones and a fencing around, then slow down and make sure that no-one is about to step out in front of you. Also beware of kids messing about and pushing each other into the road.

6. Accidents and Roadworks

Roadworks cause problems because people get frustrated and take risks. Also, if motorists don't quite understand what is going on or whether they need to be, things can get quite confusing.

If an accident does happen, lots of drivers cause problems trying to see what happened in another previous bump. 'Rubbernecking' can be dangerous because people are so interested in finding out what has gone on that they accidentally plough into the back of another driver who is driving slowly trying to find out what went on. Keep your eyes on the road and ignore what's going on around the scene.

7. Advertising Hoardings and Promotions

Advertising hoardings can be incredibly distracting, especially ones on bus stops and displays that display moving text and change images regularly. Promotions including flashing lights and various things to get your attention can also be a problem. Try to keep your eyes on the road and don’t get distracted by them.

8. Speed Cameras

The area just before and just after a speed camera are considered to be some of the most dangerous places in the UK. If people aren’t familiar with the area, they may suddenly realise that a speed camera is approaching imminently, and slam on. If you’re not careful, you’ll go straight in the back of them, and you’ll probably end up with an ‘at fault’ claim being lodged against your insurance, even if they stopped unreasonably quickly. Also try not to speed up when the speed camera is out of the way, as this is another black spot as everyone lets out a sigh of relief and hits the accelerator again.

9. Roadside Memorials

Roadside memorials have become very commonplace in recent years but can be really dangerous. Not only are they distracting but bits can come off and end up in the road, causing an obstruction.

10. Roadside Cons and Scams

Along with roadside dangers, motorists also have the added issue of roadside scams. The most common of these includes people pretending to be hurt or broken down at the side of the road, and when a good Samaritan stops to help, they end up getting robbed, forced into cars to drive to cashpoints, and on some occasions, physically assaulted. Scammers have even stooped as low as to have women at the roadside at night with a baby, seemingly stranded. When people have stopped to help, people hidden around the location appear and the attack begins.

If you see someone who seems to have broken down, of course, most of us will want to help. However, the best thing you can do to keep yourself safe is to drive past the scene, then pull over when it is safe to do so. If you have a mobile phone, call the police and tell them what you have witnessed. They are trained in such situations and will be able to offer better help than you can. It’s unfortunate that we have to go to such lengths, but these are the times we live in. If you stop to help someone, you take the risk of being involved in a scam, or worse, a robbery or assault.

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