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Tips for Driving on Dirt and Gravel Roads

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Every once in a while, you’ll come upon an unpaved road. It could be gravel, dirt, sand, or some other loose material. There are a few things to keep in mind when you have to drive along one of these roads.

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Tips for Driving on Dirt and Gravel Roads


Slow down

Your traction will suffer on these loose, unpaved roads. Reduce your speed to help improve your vehicle’s handling. Plus, if you go too fast on a gravel road, you’ll kick up small rocks that can chip your paint.



Watch for uneven ground

Since these roads aren’t paved, they’re far more likely to have holes, dips, and uneven ground. Keep both hands on the wheel and be prepared for sudden changes in the road.



Increase your following distance

If you’re driving behind someone on a dirt or gravel road, increase your following distance. With reduced traction, you won’t be able to stop as quickly as you would on regular pavement, and you don’t want to end up in an accident.


Consider the Weather


If you’re on a dirt road and it begins to rain, you will likely run into mud along the way. Be wary of mud puddles on the road. Otherwise, you might end up with a tire stuck in the mud. Freezing temperatures can also affect driving conditions on dirt and gravel roads.


Car wash

Wash your car

After you reach your destination, give your car a good wash to prevent any dirt buildup. If there are any paint chips on your vehicle, you’ll want to wash and repair them to help prevent rust.


Dirt road

Be careful on the turns

This is especially important on gravel roads: be careful around the turns. With loose gravel, pebbles can slip out from underneath your tires and cause you to lose control of the vehicle if you take a turn too quickly. Along the same lines, avoid slamming on the brakes or swerving as much as possible.


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Sometimes driving on dirt and gravel roads is unavoidable, so make sure you are prepared and cautious along the way.

Sources: Washington County, Esurance