Chapter 15, Driving in Rural Areas By, Anjolina Carpenter

Lesson 15.1

Rural roadways

  • Shoulders can be wide or narrow
  • Made up of different kinds of materials
  • Road surface may be in poor condition
  • Trees and shrubs can shield your line of vision

Safe Speed

  • 55 mph or above
  • Slower speeds are safer in harsh conditions
  • Never drive faster than conditions allow

Traffic Controls

  • Signs, signals, lane markings
  • Most warning signs use graphics or pictures
  • Alert driver of hazardous conditions
  • Reduce your speed when you have a warning sign in sight
  • Use cautions at intersections

Roadside Hazards

  • Older roads are often more narrow and not maintained as well
  • Possible uneven on the edge of the roadway
  • Deep Ditches
  • Trees, shrubs, or snow piles

Lesson 15.2

Visual Search Pattern

  • 12-15 second visual lead covers more area
  • Helps you safely respond to hazards

Curves, hills, and intersections

  • Warning signs are located anywhere from 250-750ft before the curve
  • Usually you'll find an advisory speed sign before the curve
  • Always evaluate your target area
  • Hills usually restrict your line of sight
  • Slow when approaching a hill
  • Make as much space going over and hill in case of oncoming vehicle
  • Rural intersections usually only have stop signs
  • Try to identify intersections early

Driving on multilane Roads

  • All divided roads have traffic moving in opposite directions
  • Always try to drive in the right hand lane
  • When making a left turn try to get in the lane closest to the center line
  • Check for traffic if entering a multilane road

Lesson 15.3


  • If you are about to pass make sure it is legal first
  • Check all roadways signs
  • Make sure there are no conflicts ahead or behind you
  • Check roadways condtitions
  • If in doubt, do not pass
  • Use your signals to pass
  • Adjust your speed

No Passing situations

  • Marked by solid yellow lines
  • Signs can also indicate this
  • When you're on uphill roads
  • When you're at an intersection
  • When you're going under a bridge
  • When you're on a roadway curve

Being passed

  • Do not speed up
  • Move closer to the shoulder
  • Slow down

Lesson 15.4


  • Cannot travel at normal posted speed
  • Usually have some form of hazard light or sign
  • Prepare to pass when safe to do so


  • Easily can become frightened and run out on roads
  • Large animals can cause huge damage
  • Stop well in advance of an animal
  • Be patient and wait
  • Stay in your vehicle

Railroad Crossings

  • Trains travel at high speeds
  • Be alert for railroad crossings
  • Slow and check left and right before crossing
  • Make sure it's safe

Lesson 15.5

Mountain Driving

  • Accelerate steadily
  • Downshift to lower gear if needed
  • Reduce speed if you can't see around a curve
  • Follow heavier trucks at a 4 second following distance
  • Never coast downhill
  • Fog, snow, and ice are more common in the mountains
  • High altitudes

Desert Driving

  • Intense heat
  • Intense glare from sun
  • Requires frequent vehicle service
  • Check radiator fluids every fuel stop
  • Have speed limits of 75-80mph or above
  • Sandstorms, flash floods, and storms can occur
  • Try to get to higher ground and check your car after these events


  1. Why are there advisory speed signs before curves?
  2. What is the suggested second visual search pattern?
  3. What is a good following distance behind a slow moving vehicle?
  4. When turning left on a multilane road, which lane should you be in?
  5. Why should you not speed up when someone is passing you?
  6. When are you not allowed to pass in a situation?
  7. What do you do if you encounter an animal on the roadway?
  8. What weather can likely occur in the mountains?
  9. What should you do every fuel stop while driving in the desert?
  10. What is the first thing you should do when you see a warning sign?
Created By
Anjolina Carpenter


Created with images by jaxbot - "DSC_4491" • AurelienDP - "camera car road" • fabiencambi - "Speed limit" • Johan G - "Swedish winter road" • We have moved! Please visit /highwaysengland - "HA0442-233" • elljay - "no passing zone sign triangle" • Wokandapix - "bus school transportation" • steve p2008 - "cow" • Tony Webster - "Railroad" • tpsdave - "catalina island california landscape" • Moyan_Brenn - "Desert" • TeroVesalainen - "question mark why problem"

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