If you’re a new driver and starting to get your bearings on different types of roads, you’ll want to keep reading.
Driving on back roads and country roads is more dangerous than driving on regular roads and is the result of many fatalities and injuries each year. Collisions that result in fatalities in urban areas is one in 625, whereas the number increases to one in 25 in rural areas. There are many reasons why this is the case. Back roads present more risks because they usually aren’t well-lit (if at all), there is often a temptation to driver faster since there are less people around and there is a bigger chance of an animal crossing paths with you. Read on for some great tips on how to drive safely on rural roads!
Tips for driving safely on back roads:
- Anticipate potential hazards – pay attention to signage that indicates when a curve in the road is coming, when a concealed entrance may be hidden, if you’re approaching bumps in the road, etc.
- Go below the speed limit if necessary – if you’re approaching a sharp bend, it might be necessary to drive under the speed limit in order to safely navigate the area
- Give lots of passing room to slower moving road users like people cycling, driving tractors or even horse-drawn carriages
- Drive at a speed that will let you account for any overgrown bushes or shrubs that might obscure an oncoming hazard. Keep in mind that even if you have traveled on the road before, conditions can always change unexpectedly!
- If you see an animal in your path, the best thing to do is to brake, flash your lights and hit the horn – do not swerve! It might be instinct to swerve but this is actually more dangerous than hitting an animal head-on because it increases the chances for your car to roll over
- Be alert! Tired drivers are more likely to get into collisions so make sure you’re well-rested before driving and take regular breaks during your journey
- Keep your cell phone charged – if you’re off the beaten path, it might be harder to get help if you find yourself with a flat tire and no one around
Have you ever had a close call while driving on a rural road? What was the best safety tip you received?