Rural roadways offer a great driving experience – there’s typically less traffic, the speed limit is often 60 mph and everyone likes testing their driving expertise on those winding paths. However, before you pack up and head out, there are five essential things to know before driving on country roads.
Country roads have narrow lanes, and this can pose a problem with the ever-increasing size of vehicles today. Pay attention to the cars and trucks coming towards you, and make sure you are providing enough space for both of you to pass safely. You’ll also have to be prepared for no lines to guide you as to where the center is, but staying closer to the edge of the road is safer than hugging the middle.
From harvesters to tractors, there is bound to be some kind of farm equipment on country roads from time to time. They move much slower than the speed limit, and they usually take up quite a bit of space. Tailgating these types of machines isn’t going to help you get anywhere, nor will it make them move faster. If you decide to pass, make sure you can see well past the equipment so you know it’s safe to do so.
It is acceptable to pass slower drivers on most country roads, as long as there isn’t a double yellow line or a sign stating otherwise. However, always make sure you have a clear line of sight for what is coming in the other lane, and never try to pass on a curve.
Speaking of Curves
Rural roads often have sharp curves with very little warning. While this is all part of the fun of driving them, you need to watch your speed to make sure you don’t lose control of your vehicle. No matter how good your driving skills, a hairpin turn at 60 mph isn’t going to end well for you or anyone else on the road.
Pedestrians and Animals
You are also more likely to come across animals and pedestrians on country roads, so make sure you’re paying attention to your surroundings. Even if you’ve driven the same path many times, that doesn’t mean someone or something won’t be there at some point.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as 5 Essential Things to Know Before Driving on Country Roads and was authored by Valerie Johnston.