If most of your driving experience has been in suburban or city areas, you might be surprised at how different driving on country roads can be. Arrange some country driving sessions with your parent/supervisor and get some meaningful experience now, before you have to go it alone.
Talk to your parent/supervisor or a Keys2drive driving instructor and come up with some tactics you might use to cope with the new challenges. To help get you in the right frame of mind, have a look at Tactics for tricky situations.
Here are some tips for safe country driving to get you started:
- Overtaking on country roads is very different from overtaking in the city – country driving often involves high speeds and winding roads. Only overtake if it is safe and if you have any doubts, stay where you are.
- Remember the overtaking lane - or the right lane of a multi-lane freeway – is for overtaking only. It’s an offence to drive in this lane unless you’re passing someone.
- If you are driving on dirt roads, adjust your speed so you feel comfortable and in control. Unsealed roads bring a whole new host of hazards - dirt drifts, potholes, dust and flying gravel – don’t be afraid to drive as slowly as you feel you need to.
- Driving on country roads usually means covering long distances – make sure you are well rested before setting out, and take regular breaks. It’s a good idea to share the driving with your parent/supervisor – it’ll give you a chance to rest and even do a little learning by watching what they do and asking questions.
- Keep a lookout for wildlife, especially when you see road signs warning of animals in the area. If you see wildlife on the side of the road, slow down to reduce your braking speed and give the animal a chance to cross.
Understand the experience
After you've done some driving on country roads, share your thoughts with your parent or supervisor. Talk about how well you think you went, how it affects you, and work out ways you can improve next time.