Surviving Rural Roads
Going for a drive in the country seems like a reasonably simple thing and most drivers would say it is less dangerous because there are less cars. However, undivided rural roads with posted speed limits of 80-90 km/h are the most dangerous for road users. Each year, approximately 50% of all traffic fatalities occur on undivided country roads outside of urban areas.
There are many reasons why crashes on country roads make up about half of all road fatalities and rural roads indeed have some unique challenges. Major motorways are designed to be more ‘survivable’ when crashes occur and are designed to reduce certain types of collisions like the dreaded “head-on” crash.
Country Road Challenges:
- Greater risk of head-on collisions due to lack of centre barriers
- Increased risk of injury from head-on collisions on rural roads vs. urban roads due to higher speeds limits
- Drivers over reacting when putting two wheels onto the soft shoulder of the roadway
- Greater chance of colliding with animals or losing control when trying to avoid them
- Collisions with trees or experiencing roll-overs in ditches when leaving the road surface (often from misjudging a bend in the road)
- Losing control when going over rail-road crossings
- Less traction on unpaved road surfaces
Learning how to recognize and tackle those challenges, along with many others, could save your life. Learning by ‘trial and error’ can be fatal so let us train you on how to be a safer driver on country roads instead of having to learn by mistake.
General speed limits in Canada (most jurisdictions):
- Urban areas 40 km/h-70 km/h
- Rural roads 80 km/h-90 km/h
- Motorways 100 km/h-110 km/h