A Defensive Driving Course we Held on Rural Roads in Virginia

Sadly, most Americans have no idea that rural roads are, by a very big margin, the most dangerous roads in the country!

Photo of a semi-tractor-trailer and an agricultural tractor passing each other at a crossroads on a rural road.
‘Rush-hour’ on a rural road!  Well, alright… not quite, but would you expect to meet a semi-tractor-trailer and an agricultural tractor passing each other at a middle-of-nowhere crossroads, on a curve?  (Copyright image, 2018.)

Leaving aside the old argument that roads are never dangerous, only the people who drive on them are dangerous (which is misleadingly inaccurate), the fact is that the number of people killed in the USA each year on rural roads is about the same as the total number of people killed on all other types of road in the country, added together!  And if that hasn’t got your attention, nothing will!

Another way of wording this is that approximately 25 percent of all driving done in America is done on rural roads, but this 25% of all travel accounts for about 50 percent of all U.S. road deaths each year — a massive, two-to-one disparity.

Photo of two oncoming cars. using headlights on a very wet rural road, with several risk factors present.
The dangers of rural roads can be commonplace or insidious. In this shot there are at least seven risk factors to be taken into account. Can you quickly and accurately name them?   (Copyright image, 2018.)

So how can we cut the risks to you and your loved ones, or — if applicable — your employees at work?

A significant part of the solution lies in understanding the full scope of the risks involved but the biggest remedy is to have expert, appropriate training to help you maintain safety on roads that are often delightful to drive yet are relatively deadly.

An approaching SUV in thick fog -- very hard to see because the driver was only using sidelights rather than low beam headlights.
Just when we thought that heavy rain would be the only bad weather for the day, we found a different scenario with thick fog.  Unless conditions simply get too bad for safe driving, we welcome these situations because we can teach more.  In this case, the driver of the oncoming vehicle was frankly doing his job very unsafely. Using headlights rather than sidelights would have made his vehicle much easier to see and therefore much safer for everyone.   (Copyright image, 2018.)

Think about it…. Every one of the most desirable road trips in the USA is on rural roads — by definition, cities are rarely very desirable places to drive!

On the other hand, you would be surprised by how many people who drive as part of their work have to do at least some of the driving on rural roads.  Either way, however, doing some accurate, appropriate training on rural roads is immensely important to all drivers because it allows the teaching of crucial principles that simply cannot easily be taught on urban roads, let alone busy ones.  (We will happily explain why this is the case if you need to know.)

Photo of a double curve (double bend) on hill - a great section of rural road on which to truly learn several crucial aspects of safe driving.
Not just a double curve, but a double curve on a hill… try finding one of these in the prairie Mid-West!  We love locations like this because so many key principles of safe driving can be explored and taught/learned in such places.  Please don’t think this type of training isn’t important to people who drive in urban areas.  On the contrary, it is intensely important for any and *all* drivers.   (Copyright image, 2018.)

Virginia is, of course, one of the many states where driving can be an absolute joy, and we had the good fortune to run a course there for a business client recently.

Two critical things are for certain, namely that nobody can teach or learn anywhere near enough about safe driving when training is done on a closed circuit or empty parking lot, and good safety training involves hugely more than just a handful of basic techniques.

Get more details about ADoNA defensive and advanced safe driving courses, and contact us from that page to discuss possibilities.


Anyone wishing to do scenic drives or rides in Virginia check this website for ideas.


As always, please be aware that this website is registered with the United States Copyright Office and that punitive legal action for damages may be taken against anyone who breaches our copyright. This, however, does not stop you from posting links to any of our pages, and you are welcome to do so.

See also: 24 Things You Didn’t Know (or Forgot) About Safe Driving on Rural Roads!

Author: EddieWren

Eddie Wren is the CEO and Chief Instructor at Advanced Drivers of North America. His driver safety background is given at: http://www.advanceddrivers.com/ceochief-instructors-resumecvbio/

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