Rural Road Safety

Driving is one of the riskiest things people do, and many people are on the road and in a hurry. Rural roadways can present several safety hazards for drivers of all ages including:

  • A large diversity of road users (farm equipment, cyclists, horses, pedestrians, etc.) operating at varied speeds

  • Animals on the road

  • Railway crossings

  • Varying road surfaces

  • Higher speed limits which may be coupled with reduced sight lines on curves and hills

Avoid Becoming a Statistic!

  • From 2004-2013, 78% of fatal collisions in the county happened in rural areas. This is consistent with the provincial average.

  • Slow down and drive to the conditions. About 33% of fatal collisions were the result of the driver losing control of the vehicle and either crossing the centre line or running off the road. When you go faster, you also have less time to react to hazards such as unexpected animals or slow moving vehicles.

Don't get lulled into thinking that you can speed in rural areas because it is a beautiful day and the roads are dry:

  • 68% of fatal crashes happened when roads were dry

  • 82% occurred in clear weather

  • 63% occurred during daylight hours

Keep to your side of the road, particularly when travelling on hills or curves.

  • 25% of fatal crashes were head on collisions.

Come to a full stop at stop signs and ensure it is safe to proceed.

  • 25% of rural fatalities occurred at stop controlled intersections.

(Source: https://www.strathcona.ca/transportation-roads/traffic/traffic-safety/rural-road-safety/)


Driving Tips:

  • Always wear seat belts and heed the road speed limit.

  • Reduce speed when you see farm equipment on rural roads.

  • Allow for short closing distances when approaching slow moving vehicles.

  • Brake for orange and red reflective triangles that warn of slow moving vehicles.

  • Slow down on gravel roads, hills, curves and turns.

  • Keep safe distance behind farm equipment so farmers can see you. If you can't see his mirrors, he can't see you.

  • Yield to wide equipment on narrow roads.

Passing Farm Equipment:

  • Be especially cautious of farm equipment turning left onto driveways or fields. They may first pull right for wide turns.

  • Pass farm equipment only if conditions are safe and no on-coming traffic.

  • Farm equipment operators may pull over on the shoulder of road if safe to do so.

  • Farm equipment operators may move to the centre to avoid objects on the road shoulder.

  • Do not pass farm equipment on the yellow line, curves or hills.


BE PATIENT. BE SAFE AND BE SEEN!




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