Being able to "read" the road makes cycling much safer, so here are some essential tips to make you cycling literate.
The first rule of reading is to look ahead, not just at your front wheel. The further you are able to scan ahead, the sooner you can spot potential hazards, giving you much more time to react to them. Riding in a variety of environments and weather conditions will help to get you used to the vast majority of hazards you'll come across as a road rider.
It's also important to make allowances for things beyond your control, i.e. animals and other humans. Give them and yourself as much margin for error as you possibly can.