Driving Lesson 13 (SP)

“Driving on Country Roads” Structured Practice (SP)

How to Drive a Car:  Driving on Country Roads

Driving in the country may sound serene and peaceful, but the combination of higher speeds and soft shoulders on country roads make rollovers a higher risk in these areas.  Rollovers are deadly and a particular concern for young drivers still learning how to drive a car.

Passing a Tractor

Sometimes farmers need to get from one field to another with their tractor, and the only way to do that is to use the same road you’re driving on.  Be patient. Don’t crowd them.  Remember that the tractor is a very top-heavy vehicle that’s already prone to rollovers and the shoulder of the road is soft or gravel.  Many deaths or serious injuries have occurred when city slickers, in a hurry, passed a turning tractor too closely and forced it onto the soft shoulder, causing a rollover crash.  Wait until you have sufficient time to pass and you can do so safely – without putting the tractor driver at risk.

Be Aware of Deep Ditches

Most country roads have deep ditches on both sides.  Weeds grow high in the ditches and tractors come along periodically to cut them.  They cut the weeds to the level of the road so it looks like the road extends out further than it does.  Be very careful when you’re turning around or pulling to the side of the road. It might be much narrower than you think.

Highway-Induced Driver Conditioning

Country roads are long and don’t end with stop signs and traffic lights as frequently as city roads. As a result, you can drive a long way without having to slow down.  You become “conditioned” to cruising at that constant speed and can lose your focus on driving. It’s important to stay alert!  Many tragedies have occurred when drivers ‘missed’ stop signs in-the-middle-of -nowhere!

Unmarked Railway Crossings 

You will also find railway crossings which do not have lights or a crossing gate.  Wild animals like deer can also jump in front of your car and cause a crash.  You will find deer crossing signs in some areas so be alert and don't speed.

Night Driving on Dark Roads

Night driving is especially hazardous as there are no street lights.  You must rely entirely on your headlights.  Most country roads are 2 way.  An on-coming cars at night is very scary as your vision will be restricted by the other car's headlights.  Lesson 23 will cover driving at night.

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