The six basic driving conditions
Driver condition refers to your physical, mental and emotional fitness to drive. It is the most important of the six conditions, because a driver in top physical, mental and emotional shape can adjust to all the other conditions and to the errors of other drivers as well.
Vehicle condition affects your ability to control your vehicle, your ability to see and be seen, and to communicate with other drivers and pedestrians. Your chances of staying out of a collision are better with a vehicle in tip-top condition than they are with one that has operational defects. You are the only one who knows when something isn’t working right. Only you can spot possible vehicle defects and either repair them or get them corrected by a qualified mechanic.
The first requirement of safe driving is to see and be seen. The ability is affected by light condition. The presence of natural or artificial light; you can have too little light, or too much light. The hazard of too little light is found in the fact that the nighttime fatal collision rate is more than double the daytime rate.
Bad weather can affect traction, visibility and vehicle control. Rain, snow and ice make road surfaces slippery. Adverse weather can obscure your vision with rain, snow, fog or road splatter, as well, steam up glass with interior vapour. Other drivers find it harder to see you, and pedestrians hide behind umbrellas so they fail to see cars approaching. High winds make steering difficult and cause vehicles to veer to the wrong side of the road.
Road condition refers to the total roadway and the type and condition of the road surface. These can affect your ability to steer, stop and manoeuver. Adverse road conditions can be produced by weather. Conditions change from one kind of road to another – from a side street to a thoroughfare, from secondary road to a main highway, from a two-lane road to an expressway. Any trip may involve a number of different road conditions, each requiring adjustment in your driving.
Traffic conditions are created by the number of vehicles and pedestrians using the same road or street at the same time you are, and to a large extent by how well the road has been engineered to accommodate the amount of traffic present at a given time. More cars mean more conflict in traffic and more chance for a collision. Traffic conditions are influenced by the time of day, day of the week, even time of year in the case of holiday periods, and by the nature of the environment, such as a shopping centre, sports arena, factory or school.