Driving Safely on Country Roads

Driving in the city can be tough sometimes, but driving in the country can present a whole new set of challenges.  Experienced drivers know that driving on country or rural roads takes different driving skills than you use while driving in a metropolitan or a suburban area. City streets are usually fairly straight, well surfaced, provide room for overtaking, are usually well lit. This is not what you are likely to find when venturing out to the country. Don’t get caught unawares. Make sure that you get some driving experience in a rural area while on your learners permit with your parent, supervisor or accredited driving instructor. Then when you have your provisional license you will have some experience to go out on your own or with friends. Listed below are some basic driving tips for when you make that country driving trip.

Overtaking Safely

Winding single lane roads or long straight stretches present a very different driving environment than city driving. If possible use overtaking lanes and always use extreme caution. If you cannot see ahead due to the winding roads or if you have any doubts whether it is safe to overtake another car stay safe and stay where you are. There is plenty of great information in the drivers handbook on overtaking safely.

Wildlife And Farm Machinery Hazards

Statistics tell us that there are more fatal vehicle crashes in rural areas than in cities and wildlife and farm machinery equipment is often involved in these crashes. Wild animals can be one of the major hazards of country driving, especially in places such as outback South Australia.  You might encounter kangaroos, wombats and all sorts of lizards and birds.  If you do see an animal on the side of the road, slow down and make sure you know where the animal is.  Driving early in the morning and at dusk can present a high risk of animals on the road. Be aware of slower moving farm vehicles particularly during the more prolific farming seasons can also be a hazard.   Only overtake these vehicles when it is safe to do so.

Unsealed Roads

Driving on unpaved roads or dirt roads means you need to lower your speed so that you are ready to deal with dirt road hazards such as pot holes, flying gravel, drifting dirt and dust. Drive as slow as you need to feel comfortable and in control on the road. Driving too fast on dirt roads can cause a loss of control.

Long Distance Travel

If you are driving on rural or country roads it could be because you are taking a road trip involving long distances. Long distance travel comes with its own hazards. You need to be well rested before starting out on your trip, and make sure to take several rest breaks while driving. If it is going to be a long trip think about getting an experienced friend or member of your family to help share the load of the driving.  This is not only a safe way of ensuring that there is always someone alert and in control of the vehicle, but also a great way of giving yourself a chance to sit back and enjoy the sights.

As part of our driver training we offer the opportunity to do some country driving as part of your lessons.

Safe Driving

Kim