Common Road Hazards (And How to Avoid Them)

The reason why there are so many safety features on today’s roads is precise that there are so many things can potentially go wrong. All drivers are aware of how diverse roads can be and how varied the potential perils can be as well. When speeding down a highway, the risk of a fatal high-speed crash is significantly increased, and you will notice highway crash cushions and barriers answering this danger. On a quiet country lane at night, visibility becomes a problem and so you will notice more retroreflective optics on both the road and signs. Road safety is so disparate because the dangers posed by the road are equally so.

However, to become a good all-around driver, it is important to become aware of the most common dangers which occur under different driving conditions and in different locations. The more specific dangers of where you actually live are important, but good driving begins with a knowledge of the most common road dangers overall. 

Depending on how much you travel on a regular basis, you might very rarely meet many of these hazards (e.g., city dwellers are never going to deal with livestock trespassing on the road). That said though, many of these hazards are not completely specific to certain places and types of roads, and nor is it likely that someone will go their whole driving career without once venturing out of the familiar location where they usually live and drive.

Antiquated Roads?

There is another thing worth considering, one that makes you wonder if America’s roads are actually substandard. Today, the majority of roads date from a time when cars were fewer and travelled at slower speeds. This means that many of our roads have not kept up with changes in motoring today, and this accounts for a great many of the common hazards as well.

Yet even where road quality has certainly adapted to today’s faster and more numerous cars, these advancements in motoring technology have still brought with them many new hazards, most related, as you might expect, to the increased speed of cars on the road today. It seems like we cannot win! Whether the roads are old or the cars are new, there seems to be potential highway hazards never far behind.

Most Common Hazards

So, to become a good all-around driver, it is important to become aware of the most common hazards. Some these do affect the majority of drivers anyway. The good folk at Valtir, manufacturers of highway protection products,say that the vast majority of drivers will have to contend with the highway at some time or another, and so all the hazards to be found here are important to know about. Here follows some of the more important:

Agricultural Hazards

There is not one, but in fact a variety of different hazards that can be considered agricultural. An agricultural hazard can be slow-moving and large agricultural vehicles on the road, or it could be the trespassing of livestock onto roadways.


Cyclists have just as much right on the road as cars, and they need to coexist. However, the vastly different size and speed of a bicycle compared to a car means that numerous hazards can arise.


Large trucks are a hazard not only because they are large and slow-moving, but because their particular boxy shape can affect the visibility of drivers behind. Many accidents are connected to interaction with trucks.

Ultimately, our roads have hazards and will continue to for the time being. They vary a lot, but the major ones are always worth learning.