Driving through an obstacle course
Talking about driving is my passion. I will often do my job as a driving instructor for Young Drivers of Canada seven days a week. If I end up with a day off, I’m often driving my kids to different places or running errands I couldn’t do during the week. When people realize I’m a driving instructor they’ll often ask me questions about things that may have happened to them. This was the case recently.
A driver had recently run through a large puddle and damaged their alignment of their passenger side tires. They were thrown toward the curb as well and bent the rim of their front wheel. How could simply driving through a puddle cause this damage? It wasn’t just a puddle. There was a huge pot hole under the puddle.
Predicting potential problems while driving is a great tool to have. Asking yourself questions early while driving will give you time to solve the problem. Why would there be a large puddle sitting alone near the curb if the road was flat? Could there be a pot hole underneath it that may be holding the water in place? These are all questions we should be asking ourselves while driving. I also remember when I was much younger when I went through a pile of leaves. The only problem was it wasn’t just leaves; a pot hole was also under that pile.
If you’re not sure what may be under a pile of leaves or in a large puddle, move away from it and avoid the potential risk. Your job as a driver is to be a driver. Stay focused on the task of driving and learn to avoid the potential risks and not just the obvious risks.
Every now and then I see drivers approach objects on the road like garbage cans, cardboard boxes and even tree branches and they do nothing to avoid them. Not only can these items can cause damage to your vehicle, they can also cause you to lose control of your vehicle. That’s when the problems escalate. If that’s the case, why hit them?
The driver I had spoken to recently said he didn’t think it was an issue. Anything that may be a problem should be considered a problem. If you think of road issues this way, you’ll also need to solve these problems. Being proactive and creating space around your vehicle will give you space to avoid pot holes, debris and anything else you see as an issue. Adjusting speed can also help you find the space you need to avoid the problems.
We all know what happens when you assume, so why assume there isn’t something hidden in the debris? If there is something in it and you hit the item, tough luck for you. If there isn’t anything and you avoid it entirely, it wasn’t an issue at all. Regardless, it’s your vehicle and your responsibility, so you’ll have to deal with it whichever way it happens.