Hazards while driving?

 

Question from Taylor: 

Apart from the hazards listed above what else could there be on a residential street? I was sure I listed 5 that I thought was reasonable but apparently I got one right. Is there stock answers that examiners want to hear?

 

Think about it

 

I don’t think there are ‘stock answers’ they are expecting, since every driving environment is different, if even at the same location at a different moment.

 

I know the hazard perception can seem not-natural, and people think that most hazards will be obvious and you will be able to react when necessary. But it seems a better idea to be always aware of the not-so-obvious hazards as well, so that you don’t have to wait until something jumps in front of you and then react.

 

It is good to be proactive drivers, thinking all the time about possible problems. So, this could include anything, really: Things that you can see like the obvious children or pedestrians walking or about to cross in a crosswalk, things that you can’t see (vision blocked by parked cars, shrubs/bushes/trees, hills, curves, a car could be backing out of a driveway surrounded by thick shrubs), weather like slippery conditions, or the bright glare of the sun making it hard for you to see or for those who are facing you (oncoming traffic may be blinded), etc.

 

Even if it seems there’s nothing going on around you, there probably are still potential hazards. Any intersection, crosswalk, road, lane, driveway, hill, curve, front lawn, is a place that something exciting could happen at any moment, even if nothing is right now.

 

Personally, I’ve encountered a lot of things on a very innocent-looking residential street. All kinds of hazards could present themselves. A kid’s ball could roll into the road with the kid still chasing it, people walking around between parked cars, pets like dogs could be running around, parked cars could suddenly move or the car door suddenly opens, there could be a hidden stop sign, a cyclist, there could be a small animal like squirrel or even racoon or skunk running into the road. All of the above at the same time, while torrentially raining on Halloween at midnight.

 

It’s not about memorizing things, just about looking at what you actually see and identifying what could turn into a hazard for you. The sky is probably not going to fall, and neither is that house going to implode, but other than that, if you look around you will see all kinds of potential problems. Cars are moving things, going places. Just look around and imagine what other types of ‘things’ may be potentially moving towards the same space at the same time as you, and what state they are in. Are they focused? Drunk or impaired? Elderly or very young? Distracted?

 

ICBC has a basic video on their website:

 

ICBC RoadSense Tip: Hazard Perception

 

And lists these common words you might use when describing your hazards, just as some examples:

  • car
  • bus
  • too close
  • pedestrian
  • bump
  • can’t see
  • bicyclist
  • children
  • animal
  • construction
  • truck
  • wet road
  • curve
  • warning sign
  • dangerous driver
  • rough pavement
  • turning right
  • hill
  • pulling out
  • ice
  • blind spot
  • motorcyclist
  • snow
  • turning left

 

For the road test:

 

Class 7 Road Test (to get your N): You’ll be required to do this hazard perception while stopped/parked.

Class 5 Road Test (to get your full license): You’ll be required to do this hazard perception while driving.

 

For real life:

 

You’ll be required to do this hazard perception while driving at all times 😉