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Virginia Wing Vehicle Operations Safety Site
Rural Driving Safety

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Vehicle Safety: Tires
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What to do when a tire blows out....
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Driving in the Countryside...


A good many of our searches for downed aircraft or missing persons
involve operating our search vehicles in rural environments.  Rural
driving conditions will vary considerably from freeway driving and city
driving.

One of the most important things you an do to be safer on rural roads
is to slow down.  Keep your speed at or below the posted limits.  If
you're driving in the country and don't see a posted speed limit sign,
remember that the maximum legal speed on most open non-freeway  and non-
interstate highways is 55 miles per hour.  Speed limits are often
posted lower because of road conditions, construction, curves, or hills.

Another factor to take into consideration on rural roads is farm
machinery.  This includes combines, tractors, the implements they are
towing, and horse drawn wagons.  If you are in an area with an Amish or
Mennonite community you will also have to consider horse drawn
carriages.

Keep an eye out for the flourescent red and orange 'slow moving
vehicle' placard and adjust your speed accordingly.  If you need to
pass a farmer pulling his equipment on the highway, try to make visual
contact if possible.  Wait until the machinery operator knows you're
there.  Many farm equipment operators will pull their machine over
where there is a safe area.  However, that's not always possible,
especially if the edge of the roadway is steep or without shoulder.

Other considerations while driving in the country, include watching for
cross traffic and oncoming traffic.  Pedestrians and bicyclists will
often be using the roads as well.

Be alert of roadside hazards, soft shoulders, ditches, etc;  always try
to have an escape route in mind if the unexpected should happen.

Vehicle Safety, the safety of you the operator and the team you are
transporting should be at the forefront of all your decisions.  If in
doubt, don't risk it.  Remember, Vehicle Safety starts with you the
operator.




HQ Virginia Wing
Transportation Directorate
USAF Auxiliary