Potential Hazards on the Road
Whilst driving, it is very important to be
aware of what is going on both ahead and behind one's vehicle and to
be able to assess potential hazards and to be ready to take the
appropriate action. Awareness is vital, even on quiet country roads,
as the scenarios depicted below illustrate. Whilst your basic driver
training will certainly teach you how to deal with situations such
as those shown, the
Pass Plus scheme will enable you to hone the
skills you have already learned as well as adding to your confidence
by expanding your driving experience.
situation shown above, there's quite a lot for the observant
motorist to take in. For example:-
The road sign in the foreground tells us that we are approaching
a side road to the left and we can see that a large van appears
to be parked on the left just inside the side road. Is it
blocking access to the side road? If we wish to turn left into
the side road, is there room to pass the parked vehicle?
There is a delivery van pulling out of the side road. If we
intend to continue straight ahead, will he have cleared our side
of the road before we get there?
In front of the large building ahead are several other vehicles,
partially obscured. What are they doing and are they a potential
The second road sign immediately before the side road warns us
that we are approaching a railway level crossing without
barriers and controlled by lights. Might there be a train due?
We need to reduce speed and be prepared to stop ahead if
now getting close to the level crossing and can see the lights which
control the crossing together with the sign immediately above the
lights which confirms the advance warning already given that the
level crossing has no barriers. We need to note the following:-
Although no lights are showing at the moment, this could change
at any second. Therefore, we need to reduce speed and be
prepared to stop safely if necessary.
On both sides of the road there are wicket fences, any of which
may contain a gate giving access to a platform. Is there a
pedestrian who may step unwittingly into the road in front of
Immediately after the level crossing we can see a chevron sign
advising that the road goes sharply to the right. Can we be sure
that the road out of sight immediately after this bend is clear?
We must ensure above all else that we do not stop on the level
photo above shows a clear section of single track road. Is there
anything of which we need to be aware?
There are no vehicles in sight ahead at present but that could
easily change at any moment. We need to note the positions of
the passing places ahead in case we might need to slow down or
What about following vehicles? It's always important to be aware
of what is happening behind as well as in front. Do we need to
pull in at the next passing place to allow a faster vehicle to
The ground to the right of the road is unfenced. Might there be
a person or animal hidden beyond the parapets of the bridge to
the side of the road?
On a late summer's
evening or even in the early afternoon on a winter's day (as above)
the sun is very low in the sky and can be quite blinding, especially
if the road is wet as it is here. Very often the sun is so low in
the sky that the car's sun visors are of little help. In the above
scenario, the following should be noted:-
We can just see
a vehicle ahead but which way is it travelling?
vehicle just visible on the left of the road. Is it moving or
There is a
church to the right of the road. If the vehicle on the left is
parked, might its occupants cross the road to the church?
Hopefully the scenarios
outlined above will give an indication of just some of the
situations of which the motorist should be aware. The
Pass Plus course is intended to show you how to assess what is
happening around you and to make decisions appropriate to the