July is National Parks and Recreation Month, and engaging in outdoor activities helps us acknowledge the importance of parks and recreation in our communities. Here is a list of scenic drives and road safety tips from the National Park Service.

While planning your scenic drive, don’t forget that traveling on rural roads can require taking extra precaution. These tips can help make your drive on these roadways safe and enjoyable:

Slow down and stay alert. Speed limits on rural roads are generally lower than on highways. These roadways often have narrow lanes, winding curves, and limited visibility due to trees, hills, and vegetation. Due to the limited visibility, you should keep your eyes on the road and park your phone. You won’t know what may be on the other side of a sharp curve or hill and should be ready to slow down or stop.

Share the road. When driving on rural roads, you may encounter farm machinery, cyclists, equestrians, or pedestrians. Be patient and give them extra space when following or passing them. Watch for hand signals when approaching people on horseback and proceed with caution. Do not honk your horn, as this can spook the horse, causing danger to both the animal and the rider.

Be cautious when passing. If you encounter a slow-moving vehicle, you should wait to pass until you reach a passing zone. These zones are set up in places with high visibility to ensure you don’t encounter other vehicles driving in the opposite direction unannounced.

Be mindful of wildlife. Rural areas are often home to a diverse range of wildlife and encounters with animals can be frequent, especially during the summer months. Reduce your speed in areas marked with wildlife crossing signs and be vigilant during dawn and dusk when animals are most active. If you spot an animal on or near the road, reduce your speed.

Prepare for unpaved roadways. Driveways or less-maintained rural roads may have unpaved surfaces or loose gravel. Slow down to maintain control of your vehicle. These roadways may also create a lot of dust, reducing visibility. Maintain a safe distance between your car and the one ahead to avoid a collision and damage from flying debris.

  • Uncategorized