4 Safety Tips for Driving on Country Roads

4 Safety Tips for Driving on Country Roads

Driving is risky in general, but country roads present unique dangers for drivers, especially those not versed in how best to navigate them. If you keep several factors in mind as you drive in rural areas, you’ll be much safer. To learn about these factors, read these safety tips for driving on country roads.

Pass Cautiously

First off, if you feel it’s worth it to pass another driver while on a two-lane road, do so carefully. Driving in a lane that occupies oncoming traffic hazards a collision with a vehicle you didn’t notice. Also, even if you see an oncoming car, you may misjudge the time you have to pass before they reach you. These are general dangers of passing, but winding country roads often curve and take unpredictable angles which further reduce other cars’ visibility until you commit to passing. Avoid passing, and if you need to, do so after checking multiple times that you can do so safely.

Use Your High-Beam Lights

High-beam headlights become much more useful in rural areas because these places often lack streetlights that illuminate your way. Use them during the night to detect obstacles or changes in the road. Obviously, you should turn them off when other drivers are near. If an oncoming car does not turn off their high beams upon approach, it’s helpful to avoid the glare by focusing on the road’s right edge line until they pass.

Watch for Slow-Moving Vehicles

Another safety tip for navigating country roads is to expect some unexpected obstacles. Large farming vehicles, including tractors and combines, sometimes need to travel on the road when transitioning from one field or building to another. These vehicles are road-legal and have orange triangular symbols that indicate a slow-moving vehicle. Knowing you’ll need to brake for these vehicles in a rural area helps you react even quicker when you do see them.

Prepare to Encounter Animals

Another common country-specific obstacle is wildlife or livestock that may block your way. Using your high-beam headlights helps you see animals’ reflective eyes earlier and either avoid them or give them an opportunity to get off the road. Some other measures you can take to avoid hitting an animal include being conscious that many animals are active at dusk and dawn and not swerving if a collision is unavoidable.

If you are unsure of your ability to enact all these tips or you have a child learning to drive, consider enrolling them in a driving school to improve their country road skills. Driving Arizona is an established Mesa, AZ, driving school that also provides the entire surrounding area with high-quality driving courses taught by experienced and talented driving instructors.

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