Country Driving Skills - Prepare for Something Different
September 12, 2014 at 2:26 PM
Safe overtaking is one of the most important of country driving skills. Country roads are often narrow with a lot of corners and hills. You have to look far ahead on the road to find a safe place to overtake someone if you need to. There are generally only two lanes on a country road, so you may need to use the oncoming traffic’s lane to overtake slower moving vehicles. Only do this when it is safe to do so and you have a clear vision of what is ahead for the next several miles.
Here are a few more tips:
Watch for potholes
Many country roads are not sealed with asphalt and may have potholes which can damage the suspension of the car. Rocks can damage your windscreen and you may find that there is a lot of dust. Drive more slowly on these kinds of roads if conditions are tough.
Watch for wildlife
Driving on country roads means that you may encounter wildlife. Sharp country driving skills mean keeping your eyes open and being ever-vigilant for animals on the side of the road that look like they are ready to cross. Slow down as you approach, they can be highly unpredictable and may decide to dart out in front of you at the last minute. Never swerve to avoid hitting an animal, it may cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
Carry emergency equipment
Driving in the country means that you will be miles from nowhere. Always carry emergency items such as a torch, food, water and a blanket in case you are stranded in the middle of nowhere and need to wait for help for several hours or overnight. Sometimes there is very little traffic on country roads so you may need to look after yourself until someone else comes along. Park off the road if possible and put your hazard lights on.
Avoid loose gravel on the edge of the road; it can pull your vehicle from the road which, if you are not ready, can cause a rollover. Loose gravel can be extremely dangerous, so try to avoid it and stay on existing tyre marks on the road. If caught in gravel, over steering or jerking the wheel can cause loss of control and remember your car will not be as responsive as it would be on a hard surface.
Driving at night is a different experience in the country because there are no street lights or road lines or markings, usually. It is important to stay alert. If you feel tired, pull over and take the necessary rest in a place where it is safe to do so.
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