How to Drive Safely on Rural Roads

Posted on 17 September 2013 by Tony Santos

Rural Driving

It is always a great feeling when you pass your driving test, get access to your first car – however old it might be – and find car insurance that is designed with young drivers in mind. However, with the freedom and independence you now have a responsibility to you, your passengers and other drivers to be safe on the roads.

Maybe you have learnt to drive in a city or have always avoided tricky streets but there will come a time where you might have to set foot, or rather wheel, on rural roads. They require not necessarily more attention but a different sort of focus as separate hazards will be posed.

Speed limit

Obviously a speed limit exists on every road; whether it is a 30mph in a residential area or 70mph on the motorway system. It goes without saying that it should never be exceeded, no matter what the circumstance.

On most rural roads the speed limit is 60mph but it can be lower than this. While on residential roads and wider streets with full markings it is possible to go up to the maximum, the speed limit on country roads should be taken with caution. If you think is risky to travel at the maximum allowed speed then don’t do it. The limit represents the fastest speed you can do and is not a target speed.

Animals and farm vehicles

It won’t happen every time you drive on a rural road but animals and farm vehicles such as tractors are common occurrences in the country. In the case of animals, which will most likely be horses, you should only pass them when the road is clear and straight. Give them plenty of room, pass slowly and do not rev your engine – this could spook the animal which could create a dangerous situation.

For farm traffic, such as tractors, the key is to be patient and don’t feel pressured into overtaking by the queue that might be forming behind you. Again, wait until it is clear and pass only when you have time to do so and can see a sufficient distance down the road ahead.

Level crossings

Depending on how frequently a train line is used near a rural road, a level crossing could be the more familiar automatic barrier type, a man-operated one or, in rare cases, an unmanned one.

In the case of the latter a passenger can help by getting out to check for any trains, or you can look yourself. Any trains on this type of crossing will be slow and the track will be straight so you should have time to drive over it if it is clear.

Keep an eye out for passing bays

Sometimes country roads can get very narrow indeed and might only have room for one car’s width. In these, albeit rare, cases there should be passing bays on either side every 100 yards or so. These provide extra space to let another car go by you. Be aware of these and make sure you use them as and when appropriate.

Categorized | Car News

Related Posts

Comments are closed.