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Reading the road was one of the things I was taught on an Advanced Driving Course several years ago. The idea is, the more white road marks, such as lines, arrows etc, the more chance of accidents, and in these spots you're likely to see more tyre skid marks on the road and more road signs in the area. If you see lots of road marks, be more alert and slow down.
As I was doing my routine daily walk this gave me a humorous thought about reading paths (or sidewalks to our US readers) and here is the start of my "Advanced Walking Course for pedestrians".
We have a set of white markings we can use to determine danger zones on paths. My walk takes me through one of the less salubrious areas of Worksop, and as I looked down I was shocked by the amount of white circle marks, the trodden down remnants of Hubba Bubba, Trident and Nicorette. These ugly patches almost cover the entire tarmac in this back to back terraced house area that I pass through. Yet on the same street as the area changes to semi-detached and detached the chewing gum marks reduce and disappear. Maybe we could read these signs to know when we're likely to get spat at, verbally abused or attacked by some chav?