Urban vs. Rural
Cities are exciting, fast-paced environments. However, the traffic is significantly different than in a rural area.
Driving in rural areas can be relaxing and contain less traffic. However, often the driving speeds are higher and road conditions can be inconsistent.
When driving in urban areas, be careful for many intersections, rows of parked vehicles, off road parking, busses and trucks, school zones, speed limit changes, traffic signals, heavy traffic, and vehicles that make frequent stops.
When driving in urban areas, be careful for slow moving vehicles, oncoming traffic, animal and pedestrian crossings, railroads, hidden intersections and driveways, unpaved roads, and narrow bridges.
On open highways, roads change with the environmental characteristics. You may encounter curves and hills that follow the land. Be sure to apply the SIPDE system, that we learned previously.
Think ahead. How sharp of a turn is the curve? Are there signs to pay attention to? What is a safe speed? Do my tires have adequate traction with the road?
There is a method to help you answer these questions.
SEARCH: Check and scan the area
EVALUATE: Ask yourself what changes need to be made in order to safely proceed.
Reduce your vehicle speed as you approach the curve.
Begin to steer and enter the curve. Increase your speed slightly in order to balance your vehicle.
Slowly unwind your steering and exit smoothly. Once you have exited the curve, you may accelerate in order to return to regular speed.
Be careful for any oncoming traffic. Always look ahead, and scan for any potential hazards.
DO NOT BRAKE ON A CURVE. This could be extremely dangerous, and could cause you to lose control over your vehicle.
On hills, your sight may be impeded, and you may need to adjust your speed (up or down), due to the gravitational pull.
As you approach a hill, you may have a closed sight line. Slow your speed, and stay to the right of your lane, until your sight-line returns.
When coming down a steep incline, it is important to regulate your speed.
It is also important to consistently check your mirrors for vehicles, which may be behind you.
Heavier vehicles may be unable to stop, or may have brake loss due to overheating. If you encounter this situation, do not attempt to speed up. Instead, carefully pull off the road in order to give the driver as much space as possible.