You sometimes see news stories about ladders falling off vans or lorries and onto the road, but what should you do if you find yourself driving along, suddenly confronted by a ladder lying in the road? The type of road play a big part in the decision making process. On a quiet road, it may beClose up of back of car with brake lights on. easy to swerve to avoid the ladder without getting into the path of oncoming traffic. If it is safe to pull over and move the ladder out of the road for other road users, then you might choose to do so, as ladders on the road cause serious accidents. On a busy road, such as a motorway, it is not possible to swerve round the ladder, nor is it safe to attempt to move the ladder yourself. Consider the traffic conditions and likelihood of an accident: sudden braking could result in the car behind driving into you, and driving over the ladder at high speed is also very dangerous. The angle of a ladder may mean driving over it involves some swerving, and it is very important to consider the traffic in adjacent lanes in this situation.

Ladders On The Road

If you notice the ladder on the road and you have enough stopping distance, as well as enough distance between you and the car behind, brake and apply the hazard lights to alert the driver behind to a problem. This is a good course of action to take if the ladder is laid across the road, blocking lanes of traffic. Alert the police or highways agency as soon as possible so they can send a unit to close the road and remove the hazard. Just a few days ago, a ladder that had fallen off a lorry and onto the central lane of a motorway in New Zealand caused problems for drivers. A ladder in the central lane means drivers can change lanes to avoid it, but the hazard can only be seen when another car is not in the way. This is a serious hazard and the police assured the public that the ladder would be cleared quickly. They advised drivers to take care, as the placement of the ladder meant drivers would need to weave around it.

Ladders on the Road Can Be Costly

A silver car on the motorway with a ladder protruding out of each rear window.Very recently in the UK, a ladder flew off a lorry that went around a fast corner, and hit the side of a new Mercedes. The driver, Sue Lynch, thought she had been hit and found the ladder in the road when she got out of the car to check. The driver of the lorry did not stop, so Sue and her husband have put out a call for the owner of the ladder to come and collect it, in return for payment for the damages to her new car, which needed bodywork repairs and respraying. At least in this instance, the ladder was removed from the road quickly and no other cars or drivers were affected, but it does make you think twice about following a vehicle that is carrying ladders. To safely secure your ladder to a van or other vehicle, use a proper set of ladder clamps to fix them to a roof rack. Never allow unsecured ladders to hang out of the back of a flatbed truck and always put something brightly coloured on the back of a ladder that overhangs the vehicle as a warning to other road users not to get too close. These simple measures can ensure you are not the person responsible for causing a massive traffic jam or an accident.