Texas Travel

Hit the Open Road With These Rural Driving Tips

By Mary O. Parker 5.23.16

Heading out into the wild blue yonder for a summertime road trip? Prepare yourself with these tips for driving through rural areas.

Animal Alert
Nationally, Texas has the most fatalities due to animal-vehicle collisions (AVC). Deer and feral hogs cause most AVC deaths. The animals especially grow active at dusk, so keep particularly vigilant then. Also be wary of livestock venturing outside fenced areas.

“If you hit a live animal of any kind,” it’s not considered a collision claim and does not count against you as a collision, but would be subject to your other-than-collision deductible, explains Lynae Nunley, a Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent in Comal County.

Dodging Debris
One benefit to country travel is reduced traffic. However, roads-less-traveled also might be littered with more debris, since maintenance crews don’t clean up as often. Running over fallen limbs or other items can cause significant damage.

That’s another time Nunley says physical damage coverage provides an advantage. “Coverage would be subject to your collision deductible and the final decision of a claims adjuster,” she says.

Shine a Light
Traveling back roads and byways means darker night skies. That’s great for stargazing, but not so good if your car breaks down. Drivers and passengers should pack flashlights. Also, remember that Texas law requires headlight usage 30 minutes before sunset and anytime visibility is less than 1,000 feet.

If you have an emergency and cell service is spotty, a 911 call might still go through even if your phone bears no bars, as long as a provider offers service in the area where your provider does not.

Equipping yourself with a thorough auto insurance policy can also help safeguard you from variables outside the big city.

Now that you’re ready to stay safe on rural highways, check out Texas Heritage for Living® for some of our favorite Texas back roads.