On country roads, the speed limit is often higher than in built-up areas and the traffic environment is less structured. For this reason, it is important to have good safety margins and to pay attention to what is going on further down the road.
The car turning into the petrol station on the right is using the hard shoulder appropriately.
Turning on a country road
Indicate in good time and slow down gradually. If visibility is good, you may drive on the hard shoulder just before the turn, as this makes it easier for the vehicles behind you to pass.
Turning left on a country road is probably the most dangerous type of turn you can make. The reason for this is that you are driving at high speeds, while the security is not at the same level as on the motorway.
How to make a left turn and possible ways to reduce the risks:
Check the traffic flow In rush hour traffic, it can be difficult to find a gap to use for your turn. In that case, it is safer not to make the turn, but instead drive straight ahead, turn in a suitable location and then come back and make a right turn. If there is less traffic, continue to the next step.
Indicating & placement Indicate left in good time and place your car as close to the centre line as possible. This makes it easier for other traffic users to see that you are turning. If you place yourself in the middle of the lane, it is possible that the cars behind you will not notice you slowing down, which can result in a rear-end collision, or a side collision if the car behind you starts overtaking at the same time as you make the turn.
Avoid stopping Adapt your deceleration before the turn so that you do not have to stop and wait for the oncoming lane to be free of traffic. If you have to stop, make sure not to turn the wheels to the left, as this will make go out into the oncoming lane if you are hit from the rear.
Focus on making the turn Once you are ready to turn, it is important to focus on the distance to the oncoming traffic. Also remember to put the car in the right gear – stay in 1st and accelerate fairly quickly until you are safely on the new road. Stalling in the middle of the oncoming lane is very dangerous!
In order to reduce the number of left turns, the road is sometimes reconstructed for a Spanish turn. This means that you turn off on a small exit to the right and then cross the road.
You want to turn left. Being hit from behind is a real danger here, since you will be forced to stop and wait for oncoming traffic.
Maintain the appropriate distance
The distance is insufficient. Note the verge posts.
Drivers not maintaining sufficient distance on a country road are very common. You can use the rule of thumb below to keep an appropriate distance.
The three-second rule Start counting when the car in front of you is at a fixed point (such as a road sign) and stop counting when you reach that point yourself. If it took less than 3 seconds, the distance between you is too short.
Reflective verge posts The distance between two white reflective verge posts is 50 m. 100 m, i.e. 3 posts, is usually a good distance to keep to the car in front of you when driving on a country road.
Km/h to m Change km/h of your speed to metres and it will usually give you an appropriate distance to the car in front. For example 90 m at a speed of 90 km/h.
If the car behind you is too close
Cars driving too close are both annoying and dangerous. You can reduce the risks by maintaining a great distance to the car in front of you, which means that you do not have to brake as hard if the car in front of you slows down. This reduces the risk of you being hit from the rear and potentially suffering a whiplash injury.
Another way is to simply go into a parking space and let the stressed driver behind you pass.