5 common road hazards and how to handle them

No one need tell you that driving in Phoenix can present a challenge. At worst, it can be a nightmare as you try to get from one side of the Valley to the other without winding up in a vehicle crash. 

While you probably think you have good driving skills, it never hurts to review. Here are five adverse driving conditions you can expect to face in Phoenix and what to do to make yourself and others safer. 

  1. Heavy traffic

Is there ever a time when our freeways are not clogged with cars? Try to keep a reasonable distance between you and the car in front of you so you have time to stop if it does. Also, watch out for impatient drivers who insist on suddenly changing lanes or darting in and out of the lines of cars. 

  1. Distracted drivers

Distracted driving comes in many forms: 

  • Drivers who talk or text on their cellphones while behind the wheel 
  • Drivers who speed faster than the speed limit and/or road conditions call for 
  • Drivers who conversely refuse to keep up with the traffic flow 
  • Snowbird drivers unfamiliar with Phoenix’s freeways and roads 
  • Drivers who drive inebriated or under the influence of drugs 
  • Drivers who exhibit road rage symptoms 

Try to stay as far away from distracted drivers as possible. Also, try to stay behind them instead of in front of them. 

  1. Debris in the road

Always stay alert for anything in your lane that could cause you to lose control of your vehicle. If you see something, try to slow down and change lanes as soon and safely as possible. 

  1. Vehicles hauling poorly-secured items

As a corollary to number three, keep a sharp lookout for trucks, large or small, carrying furniture, construction materials, water barrels, etc. This also applies to cars with mattresses or other things strapped to their roofs. If any of these items fall off, you have very little time to avoid them. 

  1. Construction zones

Finally, maintain particular vigilance in all construction zones. Reduce your speed accordingly and prepare yourself for sudden stops, narrow and/or uneven lanes, workers too close to traffic, and all the other hazards inherent to construction zones. 

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