Stay Safe on Rural Roads

Stay Safe on Rural Roads bb3 Jul 19, 2012

By Staff Writer State Farm™ Employee

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Roads in rural areas are less congested than city streets, but they can still be dangerous if you aren’t careful.

According to Transport Canada, accidents on rural roads in 2009 ended in 1,154 fatalities and 30,232 injuries. “When we look at traffic collisions, fewer are happening on rural roads,” says Raynald Marchand, General Manager of Programs at the Canada Safety Council. “But when we look at fatalities, more of them are happening on rural roads.”

How to Help Prevent Accidents

To safely navigate rural roads and intersections, remain alert, drive defensively and practice proper caution. “People have to read the road ahead,” Marchand says. “There may be fewer things going on around you on rural roads, but you still need to concentrate because there are different hazards.”

Take these precautions:

  • Follow the rules of the road: obey traffic controls; yield to other drivers; and slow down, come to a full stop and check for oncoming traffic before turning or crossing
  • Respect the speed limit and adjust your speed according to road conditions, especially when driving on gravel which could affect braking
  • Watch for animals such as deer and moose, particularly at dusk when visibility is diminished
  • Be aware of other visibility issues common to rural areas, such as blowing dust, lack of lighting or crops and vegetation that block views. Slow down to accommodate the conditions
  • Understand that rural roads present unique challenges. Intersections may be skewed or lack signage. Roads may also be uneven. Assume you’ll encounter surprises and focus on changing road conditions
  • Drive defensively on rolling hills or around curves. Both could conceal oncoming vehicles, unexpected wildlife or upcoming intersections
  • Don’t drink and drive. Few taxis are available in rural areas, so be sure to make arrangements for a ride home
  • Always wear your seat belt. Remember, it’s the law.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under any policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.