Did you know only 19% of people in the United States live in rural areas but over half of the traffic fatalities take place there? With this kind of a statistic it is imperative that we slow down and take caution when traveling rural roads.
In the midst of harvest season, there will be more slow moving vehicles on the roads then there have been all summer. Whether you are in a tractor or a minivan, safety should come first when traveling down a gravel road. Keep these things in mind:
- Cars and trucks must share the road with large, slow moving machinery.
- Livestock and wild animals are more abundant within a rural setting.
- Road conditions like loose gravel and dust influence your ability to drive safely.
- Frequent train crossings can be hazardous.
With that said, teen drivers in particular are three times more likely than adults to be in a fatal crash. Special attention should be given to teen drivers who are helping on the farm and may require specific guidelines. We suggest you provide extensive training to youth before allowing them to drive tractors and other farm implements and ensure that protective measures be taken such as rollover protective structures and avoiding low visibility times such as dawn, dusk, and at night.
It is National Drive Safely Work Week! Do you drive on rural roads to get to work? Is driving big vehicles or machinery a part of your job? If so, travel safely this week and the other 51 weeks of the year. For more information on the week go to Network of Employers for Traffic Safety.