This Is How You Turn Your Drive on Rural Roads into a Perfect Experience

Updated on

Rural roads offer some of the most beautiful and enjoyable drives. Whether you are driving on a rural road out of necessity or to experience scenic vistas, you should take special precautions. If you are used to driving in busy metropolitan areas, rural roads may seem almost harmless; however, there are many dangers associated with driving on back roads. Here are some tips that will help to ensure your safety while driving on rural roads.

6 Safety Tips for Rural Roads

  1. 1

    Be aware of the speed limit. Many drivers assume that they can drive quickly on rural roads because there is typically little to no traffic. This is not the case. Rural roads often have very low speed limits that are sparsely posted. You should drive at or below the speed limit regardless of how unnecessarily slow it may seem.

    speed limit
    40 mph sign in Yosemite National Park

  2. 2

    Use caution when passing. Long, straight stretches of rural roads often allow drivers to pass slower vehicles. If you choose to pass a vehicle, make sure that the section of road on which you intend to pass is marked accordingly.

    rear facing seat
    If there are both solid and dashed yellow lines between lanes, you may pass only if the dashed yellow line is on your side

  3. 3

    Watch for hidden driveways. Rural roads are often scattered with residences. When driving on these types of roadways, watch out for driveways. If a rural road is curvy or hilly, driveways can be difficult to see until you are very close to them. This could put you in danger of colliding with another vehicle as it is pulling out onto the road.

    hidden driveway
    Driveways that lead from windy roads are especially hazardous

  4. 4

    Tractors, ATVs, and farming combines can often be found on rural roadways. Remember that these vehicles, especially farm equipment, have every right to be on the road. Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and these types of vehicles. The drivers of such vehicles might have limited visibility. If you attempt to pass a large piece of equipment on a rural roadway, make sure that you have plenty of time and space to make the maneuver safely. Above all, be courteous to the drivers of these types of vehicles. These rural roads are their home. They drive on them much more frequently than you do.

    farming equipment on the road
    Tractors and other farm equipment may be wider than they look from behind and may require extra space in both lanes

  5. 5

    In some areas, livestock may be moved across rural roads from time to time. There should be road signs marking these areas and warning drivers to slow down and use caution. If you happen upon a group of cattle or other livestock being moved from one side of a rural road to another, bring your vehicle to a halt and wait patiently for the animals to clear the roadway completely. Do not do anything that may spook the animals like revving your engine or blowing your horn. Stay inside your vehicle for safety.

    buffalo herd
    Buffalo herd in the Black Hills of South Dakota

  6. 6

    Rural roadways often have fewer street lights than metropolitan or suburban areas. Expect darker conditions when driving on rural roads at night. It may be necessary to use your car’s high beams more than usual to increase your visibility.

Driving on a country road is often a wonderful experience. Enjoy the views of farms, country houses, fields of crops, and open landscapes as you carefully drive down these less travelled roads. Remember that rural roads are not to be used as a means to get somewhere faster. Driving on a rural road requires attention to your surroundings and respect for the people and animals that inhabit the area.

Andrei Zakhareuski, Driving-Tests.org Founder
Andrei is a driver with 11+ years of experience and the founder of Driving-Tests.org.

You may also like:

All but the Yellow Brick: Driving on 6 Types of Roadways Like a Pro

There are over four million miles of roadway in the United States of America. These roads travel through deserts, mountain ranges, huge forests, along beautiful coasts, through small towns, and in some of the largest cities in the world. There are endless types of roads in this country and it is likely that you will drive upon many of them during your driving career. This myriad of roadways encompasses everything from dirt roads to eight-lane expr ...

When Should High Beam Headlights Be Used?

High beam headlights should be used at night, whenever you’re unable to see enough of the road ahead to drive safely. Low visibility at night can be scary for even the most experienced drivers. Why is driving after dark more dangerous? 90 percent of a driver’s reactions depend on acute vision, including depth perception, color recognition, and peripheral vision, all of which become severely limited at night. High-beam headlights shine at an angle t ...

Foot Traffic: How to Steer Clear of Pedestrians

Automobile accidents aren’t exclusive to vehicles. Pedestrian injuries and deaths make up a large portion of reported accidents in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), over four thousand pedestrians were killed by drivers in 2010 and an additional seventy thousand were injured. While most drivers consciously avoid potential collisions with other vehicles, many forget that their vehicles pose a significant danger to ...