How safe are gravel roads?

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2022 | Personal Injury |

Few things are better than spending the dog days of summer far from the city. If you plan to take a camping adventure into the wilderness, you undoubtedly are going to have to drive on at least one gravel road. After all, according to the Federal Highway Administration, unpaved roads account for approximately 35% of the roads in the U.S.

Gravel and dirt roads are more common in rural areas, of course. Consequently, before you leave the pavement in your rearview mirror, you should know about the dangers that often come with driving on gravel roads.

Reduced traction

Tires tend to perform better on paved roads than they do on gravel or dirt ones. Specifically, you can expect your tires to have reduced traction when you are not driving on pavement. Reduced traction can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Therefore, you should do each of the following when you drive on unpaved roadways:

  • Reduce your speed
  • Make slow and deliberate direction changes
  • Accelerate and brake slowly and carefully
  • Lengthen the distance between your vehicle and the one you are following

Road damage

Paved roads are less vulnerable to weather-related damage. When you are on a gravel or dirt road, though, you may encounter washed-out portions of roadway. You also may have a bumpier ride until you reach pavement again.

Visual impairments

If you are driving on a dirt or gravel road during dry weather conditions, you also may have to contend with visual impairments. That is, the dust vehicles kick up may make it difficult for you to see the road.

To stay safe, you probably do not have to avoid unpaved roadways completely. Ultimately, though, if you suffer a serious injury in a motor vehicle accident, it likely benefits you to explore your legal options.