Sometimes an Atlanta road or highway feels a bit like a yard sale with the contents of a poorly secured truck or van spilled across lanes. At other times, car parts from fender-benders or hits to the curb litter the road with hubcaps, tire treads or even the occasional bumper. Road debris is more than unsightly, though. It can be incredibly dangerous, leading to collisions or causing chain-reaction crashes when one driver swerves and hits another. In the most serious cases, the debris flies off of a truck and crashes through a car’s windshield, injuring the driver or passengers.
While we can’t avoid every situation involving debris, there are some habits that make it easier to avoid dangerous crashes.
Maintain a safe speed
When you’re traveling at higher speeds, it takes more time to slow down or stop. This means that even if you spot road debris well in advance, you won’t always be able to slow down enough to safely maneuver around it.
The person in front of you has the best view of possible debris ahead, but if you follow too closely, you run the risk of rear-ending the other driver when he or she slows. You also may end up hitting the debris yourself if the lead car manages to maneuver out of the way. If the vehicle ahead of you is carrying a load, leave extra space in case the cargo is not secured properly.
Don’t drive distracted
Looking away to check a message or study your GPS only takes a moment, but in that time, you can travel a substantial distance. Removing your eyes from the road—specifically from the stopping sight distance ahead of you—means road debris could catch you by surprise.
Maintain your vehicle
If you can see clearly and maneuver your vehicle safely, you have better chances of avoiding a debris-caused collision. Keep your wiper blades fresh. If you have a windshield crack, have it inspected to be sure it’s not affecting structural integrity. If the crack disrupts your field of vision, have the windshield replaced. Be sure to perform regular maintenance on your brakes and inspect tire treads for signs of wear.
All in all, do your best to stay calm and maintain perspective while driving. Yes, striking debris will likely damage your car and require repairs. But if there’s no safe way to avoid the debris, resist the impulse to slam on the brakes or swerve into a lane where other cars are traveling. We can also all do our part and report trash and unsafe debris to the local authorities.
If your car has been damaged by a collision with debris and you’d like an opinion on repairs, contact Bavarian Body Works today.
At Bavarian Body Works, our trained technicians can assess debris damage, determining necessary repairs always with a focus on safety. We understand the damage these types of collisions tend to cause and how to make the repairs in a cost-effective manner. Contact us today for more information.