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Drive Right Chapter 10 Driving in Rural Areas Unit 5

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Title: Drive Right Chapter 10 Driving in Rural Areas Unit 5


1
Drive RightChapter 10Driving in Rural Areas
Unit 5
  • Theory Notes from
  • Mr. Millers
  • Driver Education
  • Class

2
10.1 Characteristics of Rural Traffic
  • Approximately 82 of all miles of roadways in the
    US are rural roads.
  • Collisions in rural areas account for nearly
    twice as many deaths as urban areas.
  • Rural roads can be two-lane or multi-lane.
  • Some rural roads are paved and others are not.
  • Shoulders can be wide or narrow, paved or gravel.
  • Road surfaces can be paved or in very poor
    condition.

3
10.1 Characteristics of Rural Traffic
  • At night, the lack of adequate lighting causes
    difficulty in seeing.
  • Pay attention for changing conditions, road
    condition, curves, etc.
  • Usually these changes come with little or no
    warning.

4
10.1 Characteristics of Rural Traffic
  • Speed is critical for safe rural driving.
  • Speed affects
  • Your line of sight.
  • Your stopping distance.
  • Your vehicle control.
  • The amount of damage and injury in the event of a
    collision.
  • Many rural roads have a speed limit of 55 mph.
    Some states allow greater speed limits.

5
10.1 Characteristics of Rural Traffic
  • There is a difference between safe speeds and
    posted speeds.
  • Posted speed limits are the maximum speed allowed
    under ideal conditions.
  • When conditions are not ideal, safe speeds should
    be used. Slow down to a safe speed.
  • Factors that affect safe speed selection include
    other highway users, inclement weather, hills,
    curves, intersections and very narrow roads or
    lanes.

6
10.1 Characteristics of Rural Traffic
  • Traffic Controls
  • Signs, signals, and markings direct, regulate,
    inform, and warn drivers.
  • They provide advanced warning of
  • Hazards that you cant identify yet.
  • Major intersections ahead.
  • Unusual or hazardous conditions (curves, animal
    crossings, etc.)
  • Traffic channeled into reduced space.

7
10.1 Characteristics of Rural Traffic
  • Roadside Hazards
  • Consider the existing conditions in selecting
    safe speed.
  • Shoulders may be uneven with the edge of the
    roadway, soft, or narrow.
  • Bridges, guardrails, bushes or trees may be near
    the roads edge.
  • Sign posts may only be a few feet away from the
    actual roadway.
  • Steep slopes might run from shoulders.
  • Entrance to roads may be blocked.

8
10.2 Using Basic Skills in Rural Areas
  • Applying the IPDE Process
  • You may be forced to make an emergency response
    on rural roads.
  • Sudden responses at higher speeds create more
    problems and risks.
  • Slow your speed to allow for more time to use the
    IPDE Process.
  • Drive at speeds that you know you will be able to
    brake and steer your vehicle without losing
    control.

9
10.2 Using Basic Skills in Rural Areas
  • Visual Search Pattern
  • In your 12-15 second search range look for clues
    of hazards that have the potential of closing
    your front zone.
  • Strive to maintain a 12-15 second visual search
    lead. This is the distance your vehicle will
    travel in 12-15 seconds.
  • Maintaining this visual search lead will help you
    identify hazards earlier.

10
10.2 Using Basic Skills in Rural Areas
  • Driving on two-lane roads
  • Curves
  • Rural roads typically have many curves.
  • Collisions happen on curves because speed on the
    approach is too great.
  • Look for yellow warning signs.
  • Warning signs usually have advisory speed signs
    posted below.
  • Natural forces work to push you to the outside of
    the curve.

11
10.2 Using Basic Skills in Rural Areas
  • Driving on two-lane roads
  • Hills
  • Unless you have a very steep slope, hills are
    usually not marked.
  • Hills restrict your line of sight.
  • Slow as you approach a hills crest.
  • Look for oncoming traffic and escape to the right
    if you need an escape path.

12
10.2 Using Basic Skills in Rural Areas
  • Driving on two-lane roads
  • Intersections
  • Follow the same procedures learned in earlier
    chapters for rural intersections.
  • Early identification of traffic controls will
    help you predict potential conflicts.
  • A typical rural intersection is one where a side
    road crosses a main road.

13
10.2 Using Basic Skills in Rural Areas
  • Driving on two-lane roads
  • Intersections
  • The side road will usually have a stop sign.
  • Tall crops, trees, or shrubs can block or limit
    the line of sight at rural intersections.
  • Treat driveways like intersections.
  • Look for loose gravel, electric poles,
    reflectors, mailboxes, etc.

14
10.2 Using Basic Skills in Rural Areas
  • Following Traffic
  • Establish and maintaining at least a 3 second
    following distance is very important in rural
    areas.
  • This following distance provides you with space
    and time to prevent conflicts.

15
10.2 Using Basic Skills in Rural Areas
  • Following Traffic
  • You will want to increase your following distance
    to 4 seconds under these conditions\
  • Being tailgated
  • Driving on a steep downhill slope
  • Following a motorcycle or snowplow
  • Pulling a loaded trailer
  • Following a large vehicle
  • Driving on wet or icy roads

16
10.2 Using Basic Skills in Rural Areas
  • Driving on Multilane Roads
  • Many have four or more lanes
  • Posted speed limits are higher
  • They have intersections instead or ramps
  • Typically a two lane roadway will cross a larger
    four way roadway.

17
10.2 Using Basic Skills in Rural Areas
  • Multilane Roadways with Center Lines
  • Some may only have a yellow line (dashed or
    solid) separating high speed traffic moving in
    opposite directions.
  • Drivers should never cross a solid yellow line or
    double yellow lines except to make a left turn or
    clear an obstacle blocking their lane.
  • Whenever you cross a yellow line, you are
    responsible to do so safely.

18
10.2 Using Basic Skills in Rural Areas
  • Divided Roadways
  • Always have lanes of traffic moving in opposite
    directions separated in some way.
  • The division may be a simple guardrail or median.
  • Medians come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
  • If you cross a median, treat each half as though
    it were a one-way street.
  • You will be entering faster traffic.

19
10.2 Using Basic Skills in Rural Areas
  • Lane Choice
  • Whenever possible, drive in the right lane on a
    multilane highway, unless signs indicate
    otherwise.
  • The left lane is usually for passing or preparing
    to turn left.

20
10.2 Using Basic Skills in Rural Areas
  • Turning at an Intersection
  • When leaving a multilane roadway, turn right form
    the right lane.
  • When making a left turn, turn from the lane
    nearest the center line or median strip.
  • Some intersections may have special turning
    lanes.
  • Signal your intention at least 5 seconds ahead of
    time.

21
10.2 Using Basic Skills in Rural Areas
  • Entering a Multilane Road
  • To turn right, check left-right-left and enter
    the nearest right lane. Speed up and move to the
    left after you have gained speed and clear the
    intersection.
  • To turn left, make sure you have a larger gap.
    Cross the lane on your side of the roadway.
    Choose the time when no traffic is approaching in
    the lane just across the center line and turn
    into the nearest lane.

22
10.3 Passing and Being Passed on Rural Roads
  • Passing on a two lane road carries a higher level
    of risk than passing on a multilane road.
  • When you pass on a two lane rural road, you will
    be in the same lane as oncoming traffic for a
    short period of time.
  • Passing another vehicle is really a three stage
    procedure.
  • You decide to pass, prepare to pass and execute
    the maneuver.

23
10.3 Passing and Being Passed on Rural Roads
  • Deciding to pass
  • Before you pass a vehicle, assess your situation.
  • Asked yourself these questions
  • Is it worth it to pass?
  • Is it legal to pass?
  • Is it safe to pass?
  • Consider passing only if you can answer yes to
    all of these questions.

24
10.3 Passing and Being Passed on Rural Roads
  • Take these actions when preparing to pass
  • Identify the reason why the front zone is
    closing.
  • Check roadway markings.
  • Check roadway conditions.
  • Check roadway shoulders.
  • Check your rearview mirror.
  • Check quickly over your left shoulder.
  • Check your rearview mirror.
  • Check oncoming lane.
  • Check for driveways.

25
10.3 Passing and Being Passed on Rural Roads
  • Executing a Pass on Two-Lane Roads
  • Keep your 3 second following distance.
  • Signal when it safe to pass, signal for lane
    change and check blind spot.
  • Change lanes smoothly.
  • Accelerate at least 10 mph faster than vehicle
    you are going to pass. Dont speed!
  • Make final evaluations.
  • Maintain your speed.
  • Signal for right lane change.
  • Return to the right lane.

26
10.3 Passing and Being Passed on Rural Roads
  • No Passing on Roads Going Uphill
  • Passing is not allowed within 700-1,000 feet
    before the top of a hill.
  • No Passing at Intersections
  • Passing is illegal within 100 feet of an
    intersection.

27
10.3 Passing and Being Passed on Rural Roads
  • Other No-Passing Situations
  • There are other situations where passing is
    prohibited or should no be attempted
  • Within 100 feet before a Railroad crossing.
  • On a two-lane bridge or underpass.
  • On curves, where your line of sign is restricted.
  • When the vehicle ahead is traveling at speed
    limit.
  • When your line of sight is limited fog, snow, or
    rain.
  • When several vehicles are ahead of you, pass one
    at a time.
  • When you cannot complete a pass before the start
    of a no passing zone.
  • Any time oncoming traffic is too close.
  • When you will be stopping or turning soon.

28
10.3 Passing and Being Passed on Rural Roads
  • Passing on Multilane Roads
  • You need to be cautious when only a centerline
    separates traffic.
  • Check all traffic before attempting to pass.
  • Make sure no one will enter your front zone
    before you pass.
  • The vehicle you are passing should be going
    several mph slower than you are traveling.
  • All passing should be done in the left lane.
  • Passing on the right is illegal.

29
10.3 Passing and Being Passed on Rural Roads
  • Being Passed
  • If you are executing a pass, you have the
    majority of the responsibility to do it safely.
  • He also have responsibilities when being passed.
  • You must be aware when another vehicle is passing
    you. Even if they dont warn you.
  • If the passing vehicle is having a difficult time
    passing you, slow down to help the other driver.
  • Intentionally speeding up while being passed is
    illegal.
  • Only speed up when the driver has decided not to
    pass and drops back.

30
10.4 Rural Situations You Might Encounter
  • In rural situations you may encounter vehicles,
    animals and situations that you do not encounter
    on city streets.
  • Slow moving vehicles are unable to travel at
    highway speeds.
  • Most tractors and other farm equipment qualify.
  • Slow moving vehicles have an orange and red
    triangle sign on the vehicle.
  • When driving at higher speed, you will rapidly
    close in on a slow moving vehicle.
  • If you find yourself closing in on a slow moving
    vehicle, slow down and prepare to pass when it is
    safe to do so.

31
10.4 Rural Situations You Might Encounter
  • Animals can be a problem on rural roads.
  • They can easily become frightened and dart out
    into your path.
  • Millions of dollars are lost each year by hitting
    large animals on the roadways.
  • You may see warning signs to alert you potential
    animal crossings.
  • If you see animals crossing the roadway, slow
    down and allow them to pass.
  • When small animals appear in the road, be careful
    and try to avoid hitting them.

32
10.4 Rural Situations You Might Encounter
  • Meeting Oncoming Traffic
  • Meeting traffic on two way roads may be
    dangerous.
  • Head on collisions can cause serious injuries.
  • Try to move to the right and adjust your lane
    positioning.
  • Oncoming drivers may cross into your path for the
    following reasons
  • Blowout, hitting or swerving to avoid a pothole
    or other debris.
  • An unexpected loss of traction due to ice, snow,
    etc.
  • A distraction or vehicle failure.
  • An impairment due to alcohol, illness or fatigue

33
10.4 Rural Situations You Might Encounter
  • Meeting Slow Moving Vehicles
  • When you see a slow moving or stopped vehicle in
    your left front zone, check to the rear of the
    vehicle for a passing vehicle. The passing
    driver may not see you.
  • Make sure you know where you have an open zone.
  • If you do not have an open zone, brake enough to
    create space for yourself or the passing driver.

34
10.4 Rural Situations You Might Encounter
  • Meeting at Night
  • Be aware at night.
  • You need to be aware of vehicles in the distance.
  • Keep your windshield clean.
  • At night, headlights in the distance can warn you
    of oncoming traffic.
  • If you have your high beams on, dim them at least
    500 feet from oncoming traffic.
  • Glance to the right edge of the road to avoid
    glare from oncoming headlights.
  • There is often a white line on the edge of the
    road to assist you with lane positioning.

35
10.4 Rural Situations You Might Encounter
  • Railroad Crossings
  • Many railroad crossings do not have complete
    controls (flashing lights and gates).
  • In rural areas, trains travel at high speeds.
  • Be alert for railroad crossing warning signs.
  • Slow and check left and right before crossing.
  • Never cross a railroad crossing until you know it
    is absolutely safe to do so.
  • Remember when a vehicle and a train collide, the
    train always wins.

36
10.5 Special Driving Environments
  • Mountains and desserts can challenge your
    patience, energy and skills.
  • Adhere to the speed limits and warning signs.
  • Mountain roads often zigzag across a mountain
    with a series of sharp turns called switchbacks.
  • Accelerate steadily when driving uphill to
    maintain speed because gravity is pulling your
    vehicle downhill.
  • When you cant see around a curve, slow down.
  • Driving too fast is the leading cause of
    collisions in the mountains.
  • Large vehicles move more slowly up mountains.
  • Some mountains have pull-out areas where an
    additional right lane is provided for slower
    moving vehicles.
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