Drive Safe in the Country

Edited by Scarlet.Tulip, ChadHenly, Eng, Doug Collins and 1 other

Country roads can be more dangerous than city or suburb roads. Especially if your not used to them. You can safely drive in the country if you prepare before driving and pay attention during the drive though.

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Plan Ahead

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  1. 1
    Fill your gas tank.
    Start the trip with a full tank of gas since you won't see many gas stations in the country. Refill your gas tank when you do see another gas station too.
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  2. 2
    Have an emergency kit.
    You should have food, drink (non-alcholic!), extra fuel, flashlight, and other basic emergency supplies in your trunk in case something happens to your car during the drive.
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  3. 3
    Use more than your GPS.
    Your GPS may not work right in the country if signals are bad. Same with your phone. Carry actual maps if possible. Maybe a compass, too.  
    1. Make sure your maps are updated! An old map may not be accurate.
    2. You should actually know how to use a compass if you decide to carry one. It won't do you any good if you don't!
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  4. 4
    Prepare for flats.
    Since country roads can be made of gravel, etc, you might get a flat tire so you should have a spare tire in your car. You could also use a patch kit, but a spare tire is still important. Keep a jack in the car so you can actually change the tire, and learn how to change it before you start driving just in case you can't call or look online with your phone for instructions in the country.
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  5. 5
    Be alert.
    Sleep well the night before. Eat a nutritious meal so you can stay alert. Caffeine can help some, but don't rely on coffee or soda to keep you awake and alert during your country drive.
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Stay Safe Driving

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  1. 1
    Watch out for animals.
    Since there aren't many cars in the country and since the area is less developed there will be more animals. Keep an eye out for animals crossing the road. Especially when you're by woods or forests.
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    1. Don't swerve! You might lose control of your car if you do. This might also cause the animal to get startled and jump in front of your car instead of away.
    2. For big animals (deer, etc) or slow animals (geese, ducks) slow down when you see them crossing the road. Don't slam on your brakes if possible though.
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  2. 2
    Slow down if you can't see.
    You might not be able to see around a curve or past a hill/dip in the road when driving in the country. Slow down, even if this means driving below the speed limit. You can even honk your horn to warn other drivers if your nervous.
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  3. 3
    Be careful around tractors.
    You may see tractors, horses/buggies, and other farm equipment on the road when driving. Make sure there's enough room on the road and no oncoming cars from the other direction if you decide to pass them. It can be hard to wait for a slow vehicle but its better to wait for the right time than get into an accident.
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  4. 4
    Make room on narrow roads.
    You may have some roads to yourself for most of the drive but find you need to pass other cars eventually. Move as far over the the right side of the road as possible to make sure the other car can make it passed you if the road seems narrow.  
    1. Pay attention to the side of the road though. There might be a ditch or steep drop-off and no guard rails at the side of t he road, and you'll get seriously hurt if you drive into something like this. Only move to the side of the road if doing so won't put you in even more danger.
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  5. 5
    Use your headlights.
    You should always use headlights, even in the city, but its especially important in the country since most country roads don't have good street lamps.
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  6. 6
    Use low gears downhill.
    Switching your car to a low gear will limit the amount of times you need to use your brakes when going downhill. This can save some wear and tear on your brakes.
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  7. 7
    Drive slowly over bad roads.
    Gravel roads, dirt roads, etc, are harder to drive on and harder on your car than paved city/suburb roads. You need to drive more slowly over these roads to keep control of your car and limit possible damage.
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  8. 8
    Keep driving.
    Don't take unnecessary breaks in the middle of nowhere. Only stop when you need to stop and turn off the engine to save gas.
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Tips, Tricks and Warnings

Questions and Answers

Hi, how do I avoid hitting deer at night in the woods?

I know deer sometimes run into the road and I don't want to hit them.

  • Always slow down after the dusk and drive carefully, fastening your seatbelt: you have to be prepared to hit the brakes as soon as you see an object appearing on the road.
  • When using the brakes, drive in a straight line to avoid confusing the deer and losing complete control of your car.
  • If you saw one deer on the road, then be prepared for more coming soon, as they are pack animals (an easy way to spot them is to see their eyes reflecting your headlights), and slow down your car to a crawl.
  • Watch out for the signs on the road, which may warn you of any dangerous areas with animals crossing the road.
  • If the road is wide enough and it is permitted by the rules, you should move closer to the center of the road.
  • Either dim the headlights or flash them randomly to scare the deer off the road if you spot them on the road.
  • Honk the horn in long presses to scare deer off in areas designated by the road signs.
  • Also, never listen to music or speak on the phone while driving. Some people play loud music with a lot of low frequencies instead with the windows opened, which scares deer; but that affects your driving negatively; so, it is not recommended.
  • In case of emergency, always have a veterinarian number ready in your phone or notebook.
  • If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.
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Article Info

Categories : Travel & Leisure

Recent edits by: Doug Collins, Eng, ChadHenly

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