Vehicle Maintenance; visibility and traction are very important of rural roads and these are things that you should attend to before you even start your journey.
Ensuring that your headlights are clean and clear will give you the best forward view especially as the nights are drawing in and clocks are about to change. Windscreen wipers should be checked as well to ensure that they are not split and keep the majority of the windscreen clear for the driver to maintain optimal view. Also ensure that you have a good mix of washer fluid that will really help to shift the heavy spray that is picked up off rural roads.
Tyre performance is all the more critical on rural roads which are more susceptible to patchy frost and mud from agricultural vehicles. Check that you have at least 2mm of tread depth on all tyres and consider winter tyres as most compounds perform less well when the temperature drops below 7 degrees.
Speed Choice; as well as the potential for slippery road surfaces due to mud or frost there are other important reasons to keep your speeds down on rural roads.
You are likely to encounter sharper bends on rural roads where the speed you carry into the corner will affect your ability to maintain control throughout. If you ensure that you brake going into the corner you can gently accelerate through which gives you the best control over the vehicle.
Rural roads are often used by agricultural traffic that may be travelling at much slower speeds than you. This differential in speed can be an extra risk factor, expect the Unexpected; continually ask yourself what might I come across around the next bend? It might be a rambler, a cyclist, a horse rider, a deer or badger, or even an escaped animal from the local farm. Have you allowed for it and are you prepared for it? If you don’t expect these possibilities you will not be prepared to take action when needed.