One of the best parts of fall is the foliage — particularly when you happen to live in or near Virginia. The state is known for its gorgeous rural areas and woodlands, and they’re at their scenic best when the leaves on the trees have exploded into color.
Are you getting ready to take a roadtrip or two to go leaf watching? Don’t let your excitement blind you to the very real hazards you face on rural roads during this season.
Tips for safely navigating back roads and rural areas
Ideally, it’s better to find a state park so that you can take advantage of all the beautiful scenery without worrying about distractions on roads — but you still have to get to your destination. That generally means navigating some pretty rural areas.
Here’s what you need to remember:
- Keep your hands on the steering wheel and your mind free from distractions. Let your passengers do the navigating so that you’re not checking your GPS every few minutes.
- Know your speed limits and reduce your speed according to the road conditions and the weather. In other words, if it’s foggy or damp, you need to slow down — and don’t be tempted to speed just because the road seems empty.
- Watch out for hidden driveways, crossroads and railway lines. Rural areas tend to wind around hills and curves, and you may encounter someone trying to get out of their driveway just around the next bed. Overgrown foliage may sometimes hide crossroads. Railway crossings are another hazard you also can encounter.
- If you encounter tractors, threshers or other farm equipment that’s moving slowly, do not try to pass on a curve or a narrow road. Be patient, and stay a fair distance behind the farmer so that they can see you.
Hopefully, you’ll have a safe adventure. However, if you are in a wreck through no fault of your own, make sure that you take all of the necessary steps to protect your legal interests.