Driving on Gravel Roads

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated February 21, 2009)

Many people have an almost idyllic vision of driving along on some fantasy country road somewhere. However, anyone that has been driving for a while can tell you that driving on gravel roads is nowhere close to being the same thing as driving on a paved road. There are some steps that people can take which will help make that aspiration a reality.

  • Speeding. Vehicle speed is probably the most prominent of all the reasons behind accidents that occur on gravel roads. When transferring your car or truck from a paved road to a gravel one you need to slow down just a bit so that you can safely get an idea of how your vehicle is going to handle. The road might be a hard packed dirt and gravel mixture, or it might be one that is made of a more loose layer of gravel. Each of the road types is going to require different driving techniques, so the safest bet is to simply slow down to a speed that allows you to react to whatever might come in a safer manner.
  • Handling. When you are driving, you need to pay attention to the way that your vehicle handles on the gravel road. Such things as speed, driving habits and manners, not to mention the materials that make up the roads you are driving on all affect your handling. Since you cannot really change what the road is made of, you can change your personal driving habits. When you are driving on gravel roads avoid any sudden changes in direction since this could lead to sliding and rollovers. Also, if you are the only one on the road at the time, make sure that you stay in the tracks on the road to help avoid the same problem of sliding and rollovers. If another vehicle comes along, then slow your speed and shift over to one side, while at the same time, if you are following another person make sure that you leave plenty of distance between you and that car. The reason for that is simple—you do not want to get into an accident if the car ahead of you has a problem.
  • Maintenance. Believe it or not, simple tire pressure is going to affect how you are able to drive on gravel and dirt roads. Prior to beginning any gravel travel, the check to make sure that your tire pressure is within the specified parameters as given by the manufacturer. Pressure that is either too low or too high is going to seriously affect your ability to drive. Be safe, and make sure that your tires are good before driving.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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