Part of driving safely means spotting the dangers, and some of those dangers are easy to spot
That weaving vehicle? That speeding driver? That guy who ran the red light? Those are obvious. Here are dangers that are more difficult to spot.
Be aware of them and watch for them so you can avoid a collision when these invisible dangers are present
- Vehicles in your blindspot. This is probably the best-known "invisible danger" and yet so many drivers fail to check their blindspots before turning. A quick shoulder-check gives you an opportunity to sweep your blindspots with your eyes to make sure it's safe to turn
- Children. Children are oblivious to the world around them. And they're short. That's a scary combination! Any snowbank, parked vehicle, or large tree could have a child standing behind it who is about to go running obliviously out onto the street. Spot those hazards and watch them carefully as you approach them
- Anything to the left or right of your vehicle while reversing. There are several dangers that you can face while going forward. But there is one big invisible danger you face when reversing: It's anything to the left or the right of your vehicle! As you back up, and presumably turn your wheel, the front of your vehicle swings in that direction… but most people's necks are craned around so they can see out the back window at the time. A slight change in direction and you can knock the mirror off of your vehicle or dent your fender
- Cyclists who don't obey the rules of the road. Cyclists are required to obey the rules of the road. For the ones that do, we can appreciate their predictability. However, not all cyclists do and the ones that don't are less predictable and therefore less safe to be around. Watch for cyclists, especially ones that don't see to be doing the same things you are!
- Parked vehicles that pull out in front of you. When you're driving past a line of vehicles that are parked parallel to the curb, it's easy to assume that no one is moving. After all, they're parked. But vehicles might be pulling out of their space and they don't have a lot of room to move… or to see you
- Cell phone talkers. Many jurisdictions are banning cell phones while driving. But this doesn't stop drivers from using them. When you see someone driving nearby with a cell phone, be aware that although you might be focused on the road, they are not! Drive accordingly. If you're both driving side-by-side, headed in the same direction, consider accelerating a little to get out of the way in case they decide to switch lanes