Tips For Safe Driving On Gravel Roads
Driving on a gravel road, especially if you aren't used to it, is more dangerous than driving on a paved road. Keep these tips in mind to reduce the danger:
It's dangerous to drive on an imperfect road at high speeds, and a gravel road is a perfect example of an imperfect road. Causes of imperfection on gravel roads include bumps caused by uneven wear, potholes caused by erosion, and loose gravel. Such imperfections will affect the efficiency of your car's handling so the best way to handle the danger is to slow down. Slowing down also gives you time to react in case of an emergency.
Increase Your Following Distance
If you are sharing the gravel road with other motorists, make your following distance longer than the one you usually allow on paved roads. For one, increasing the following distance gives you more room to stop in case there is danger ahead; cars on gravel roads tend to skid a lot (due to loose gravel), and the skidding increases the effective stopping distance. Additionally, dust and debris on the road may reduce visibility, so you may not see road dangers in time.
Be Ready For Skids
As previously hinted, skidding is more common on gravel roads than paved roads due to the presence of loose gravel on the road. Skidding can easily lead to an accident, such as a rollover, if you don't know how to handle it. Therefore, prepare yourself to handle a skid at any time. Slowing down and driving on the tracks (that are parked harder than other sections of the road) should prevent skidding; of course, you should only stay on the tracks if there are no other road users.
The best way to handle a skid that has already started is to take your feet off both pedals so that you are no longer accelerating or braking. After that, turn the steering wheel in the direction you want to go and keep steering to
Avoid Sudden Swerves
Lastly, you should avoid sudden swerves on a gravel road because you can easily lose control of the car that way. Sudden changes of directions increase the risk of a rollover or a skid since the tires' grips on the gravel road are not as firm as they would be on a paved road.
The above tips should help you avoid accidents if you are a regular user of gravel roads. Avoiding accidents will not only help you avoid injuries and damages to your car, but it will also help you avoid high insurance rates. Check out sites like http://www.village-insurance.com for more tips on lowering insurance rates by driving safely.