This time of year, families all over the country travel for the holidays. It’s all “over the river and through the woods, to grandmother’s house we go!” However, a lot of times “over the river and through the woods” is quite literal.

Driving on rural roads can be treacherous, whether the weather is on your side or not. If you are planning on any rural road travel, maybe during the holidays, be smart and follow some of these helpful tips.

Drive even more careful than usual

You are always a careful and courteous driver, so this should be easy… right?!

When it comes to rural road travel – roads are narrower, bumpier, taken less care of and turns are sharper. All of this adds up to having to mind the rules of the road even more than you normally would.

Blind turns and hills are common in these situations so be sure to mind the speed limit and slow down upon approach. Other drivers may take those turns hot or drift towards the middle of the road due to their narrow nature. Slowing down gives you time to identify and avoid any nasty surprises.

During poor weather, the condition of these roads will be much worse than usual. Keep your eyes peeled for ice and other slick spots.

Treat farm equipment with care

There is no group we respect more than our farmers and the tremendous work they do to bring food to every table. This work also often entails that their large tractors and other farming equipment must take to the roads to get to where they need to go.

Be considerate and share the road.

Check your tires

It’s always a great idea to make sure your tires are in good shape before any road trip. However, if you plan on traveling off the beaten path, your tires are even more important.

Rural roads are usually bumpy, gravely and more often than not pothole ridden. If your tires are worn out, balding, exhibiting any signs of rot or are just low on air these unideal conditions could result in you ending up on the side of a road with a flat tire or blow out.

Before departing on any back-road travel make sure your tires are looking great. Top off your air pressure and give them a good looking over. If they need it, take them in for a quick rotation or get a brand new set of tires.

Stop by any Raben Tire location for a free tire inspection and air pressure check. Raben associates are experts in their field.