Hello Folks, Paul Samakow at your service.

There’s nothing like taking a Sunday drive down a country road to ease your worried mind.  Drives like these let you slow down and take time to marvel at the beauty and wonder of the world all around us that we so often take for granted during the hustle and bustle of our hectic daily lives.

The purpose of today’s blogs is to help ensure you enjoy driving down those country roads for many road trips to come.  Because while driving down country roads can be a relaxing and enjoyable experience, it can also be dangerous and downright hazardous.

Country roads are often narrow and winding, and they can be home to unexpected hazards with wildlife coming out of nowhere and poor road conditions.

One of the most significant dangers of country roads is their width.  They are often narrow by necessity which leaves little room for error when passing and navigating turns or avoiding wildlife.

Deer, while a visual treat when viewed off in the distance, can be deadly on or near roadways.  If you suddenly come upon a deer and over-swerve to avoid it, this can cause you to lose control and crash. As much as it pains me to say, it would be better to hit the deer than to risk a potentially fatal crash.

Country roads are sometimes poorly maintained.  There is a greater likelihood of potholes, uneven surfaces, and loose gravel.  Poor road conditions paired with high rates of speed so often enjoyed on long winding roads can be a recipe for disaster.

Driving country roads at night is particularly hazardous.  These roads often have poor lighting making it even more difficult to see wildlife and road hazards.

All of this being said, I want you to enjoy your Sunday afternoon drives, but do so with safety in mind.  Follow a few commonsense safety tips, enjoy your road trip, and most importantly, arrive home alive and with yourself and your vehicle intact.

  1. Slow down. The most important thing you can do when driving on a country road is to slow down.  This gives you more time to react to unexpected hazards and will help you maintain control of your vehicle.
  2. Keep a safe distance. Don’t tailgate and don’t try passing a slower driver unless it is legal and safe to do so.   Give the driver in front of you space and this gives you more time to react if the guy in front suddenly stops or turns.
  3. Be alert. Country roads often mean long drives and it’s easy to get tired and complacent when driving.  Stay alert and aware of your surroundings. You never know when a deer or unexpected hazard will appear around the next bend.
  4. Use your headlights. If you’re driving at night, use your headlights appropriately.  They will help you see hazards ahead and make you more visible to other drivers.
  5. Avoid distractions. Like at all times behind the wheel, driving requires your full attention. Avoid distracted driving by putting your phone out of reach and the snacks in the back until you arrive at your destination.
  6. Be prepared. You don’t want to be stranded on a country road.  The safety you feel inside your vehicle will evaporate fast if you have a flat on the road, if there is a collision or your car breaks down unexpectedly.  Make sure you are making a trip in a road worthy vehicle and carry a first aid kit, flashlight, mobile phone and extra water in case of emergency.

So, to wrap things up, be safe, be aware of your surroundings and enjoy your next road trip.  And if you’re driving in West Virginia, I recommend John Denver on the radio for the ride home.

And if you or anyone you love is ever injured in an auto collision, please call me at 703-854-9288 or 301-298-8383.

Until next time, please be safe, and NEVER text while driving!

Paul Samakow

Attorney Paul Samakow

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