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Summer's Here: Driving Tips for Rural Areas to Keep Everyone Safe

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While many states like Rhode Island and others were hit hard by winter storms that washed out roadways and required lengthy repairs, other drivers may find that the time has come to enjoy going off the highway and into the country for a leisurely trip. It also means driving more defensively than you would on the interstate.

Along with the other drivers looking to take advantage of nicer weather, rural trip-takers also have to contend with the prospect of increased wildlife and farm equipment, as well as recreational enthusiasts who may also be crossing less-traveled road ways. Here are a list of ways to keep yourself safe if you're out in the country and haven't recently been to an online traffic school to pick up the same tips.

1 Have bi-focal vision: There are two major issues that affect driving on country roads including slower vehicles and smaller animals and other objects. While you should always be looking a couple seconds ahead, most farm equipment is mandated to travel at 30 miles per hour or lower, requiring motorists to be able to stop quickly. Looking lower than normal every couple seconds will also limit the likelihood of striking an animal.

2 Do not over-drive your high beams at night: this may seem like a corollary to the first tip, but it's especially true for drivers who may be used to driving on relatively straight highways. The number of curves on most rural roads can make it difficult to forecast what debris or obstructions are ahead, and using one's lights as a gauge can prevent mishaps.

3 Be mindful of trails and clearings: Clearings are a sign of farms and the potential agricultural piece of equipment that could be traveling 30-40 miles per hour slower than you are. Trails should make drivers wary of motorbike and quad riders, and if you see a trail crossing you might want to be on the lookout for colorfully marked safety gear that could mean a trail rider nearby.

4 Assume that bicyclists or children may be near the road when attempting to pass: The amount of clearance one has when trying to overtake another car is substantially less than on a highway, and the likelihood of pedestrians increases because you are more likely to be driving near homes, campsites or other areas. Try to give yourself more time and space, or consider just waiting. You may be able to enjoy more of the scenery if you do, too!

5 Use power lines to gauge oncoming traffic at night: It may seem odd to look at power lines, but one trick some long time country drivers use involves precisely that. The shine of a car's lights will often travel down a utility line further than the lights themselves, offering motorists a way to predict when they will face upcoming traffic.

This is only a small list because it may make more sense for some motorists to try a online driver safety school to brush up on operating a motor vehicle in less populated areas, especially if they were a long-time resident of a city or other built-up area.