Though expressways constitute very little of the total road coverage in India, they see a lot of traffic movement on them. The vehicles moving on expressways usually travel at high speeds and the driving conditions are somewhat different there. Similarly, the dangers when driving on expressways are also a bit different when compared to regular roads. For the same, here are the top ten dangers that an expressway user may face in India.
High-speed tyre bursts
New expressways in India are mostly made up of concrete because it has a longer life and lower maintenance than tarmac. However, concrete also has higher friction than the tarmac in dry conditions. Due to increased friction, the tires get heated up quickly and to a higher extent which sometimes results in a tire burst. However, such situations only happen if the tire is in shabby condition but if the tires are new or are not worn out, chances of a tire burst are minimal.
Sleeping on the wheel
Expressways are designed in a way so that they consist of mostly straight roads without many turns. Because of this, car occupants, as well as the driver, often get quite bored when driving on the expressway. Drivers behind the wheel often feel drowsy on such long stretch of straight roads and unknowingly fall asleep. This can be disastrous and might result in severe accidents. Therefore, it is important to take regular breaks while on the expressway in order to stay alert and focused behind the wheels.
An oil spill is quite dangerous no matter where it happens. However, the danger grows tenfolds if the oil is spilt on the expressways because of the high-speed vehicles and smooth concrete surface. Oil spills can be caused due to accidents or by leaking vehicles. Expressway users, particularly the bikers, should be careful and look out for any oil spills on the road surface and avoid it at all costs.
Stray animals are a regular feature of almost every road across India. But the danger of stray animals is more pronounced and unpredictable on expressways as they go through secluded lands where wild animals are plentiful. Even though expressways are barricaded so that animals don’t enter, a lot of cases of vehicles hitting stray animals are reported every year. This is an even bigger problem during night and foggy conditions when the visibility drops quite low
Fog us undoubtedly one of the biggest dangers on the expressways. Expressways often experience even denser fogs as they go through open fields and hence are prone to denser fog than the regular roads. There have been several cases where heavy fog conditions have resulted in pileups on the highway. Therefore, when driving in a fog enveloped expressway, drive slow and keep your lights on.
Fast vehicles on the left lane
Lane discipline is something that is missing not only in highways and expressways but from almost all corners of the country. But the consequences of not following lane discipline becomes more pronounced on expressways due to the high speed of vehicles. High-speed cars on the left lane can cause serious accidents as they are at the far-away end of the driver and many car drivers do not tend to check ORVMs. For the same, be aware of such high speed overtaking from the left-hand side of the vehicle.
Expressways are outside city limits and mostly pass through uninhibited lands. Since they are not used by the local commuters, local people take advantage of the situation and lay traps and rob the passing vehicles. Adding to the situations is the poor lightning on expressways and robbers use various ways to stop the vehicles and loot them. For the same, never stop your vehicle in a secluded spot if someone tries to randomly stops you, throws something on the car or tries to corner the vehicle.
Fuel pump scarcity
This is another issue related to newly developed expressways around the country as fuel pumps are not very regular on the expressways. To avoid getting into a sticky situation or go to the nearby town for fuel, plan your journey ahead and fill up your tank enough so that it lasts you the trip.
Locals entering from exits
For locals who stay near expressways, these roads act as a shortcut to various places and instead of taking local roads, they travel on expressways. They don’t care about the entry or exit and try to enter the expressway through any route available – be it an exit or jumping through the barricade and fences. Be alert for such locals who come out of the blue inline of your vehicle’s movement.
Several expressways in India don’t allow the entry of commuter bikes because of their slow speed. However, many of the expressways allow slow bikes and as a result, such bikes and other slow-moving vehicles get on the high-speed lanes causing big accidents. It is difficult to determine the speed of such vehicles at high speed and it can cause gruesome incidents on the road.