Louisiana has plenty of scenic beauty. Yet, the bayous, Mississippi River delta and longleaf pine forests are part of a state which still retains a lot of rural isolation. In many ways, this adds to the Pelican State’s attraction to tourist drivers. Still, locals and visitors must recognize the often-lonely travel conditions the state presents.
You’ll find plenty of well-beaten paths throughout the state. But, you’ll also experience times where you are far away from populated areas. Should something happen to you or your car while on the road, you might not be able to easily seek help. Here’s how to prepare in case such a scenario arises.
Preparing for Rural Travel
We’ve all heard stories where a motorist wrecks in a rural area. They then might be unable to seek help, and search parties cannot easily locate them. The results in these cases too often prove devastating, and they could happen to anyone. Therefore, drivers in rural areas might need to take extra safety precautions.
- Recognize that rural roads might not receive the same maintenance as large highways. Therefore, drive with care in case of hazardous or neglected roadways.
- Make ample use of windshield wipers and headlights. Poor visibility might exist where the weather might change quickly, or where less roadside lighting exists.
- Never speed on rural roads. Use particular caution on highways that have frequent hills or blind curves.
- Take care of your tires. If they have low pressure or damaged treads, they won’t grip the pavement well. You might have a higher risk of control problems on rural roads.
- Always be on the lookout for wildlife that might attempt to cross the road.
- Only pull off the road in safe areas, like parking lots or pull-offs.
- Keep several pieces of emergency supplies in the car. Vital materials might include a jack, spare tire, jumper cables and a remote battery.
- Many rural drivers carry certain emergency survival gear in their cars. Often, you don’t have to go to great lengths to procure these items. Consider stocking the car with
- A remote power source for your mobile phone
- Small first-aid items like disinfectant or band aids
- Food like snack bars and bottled water
It’s unlikely that you’ll ever experience any more problems in rural areas than anywhere else. However, it’s best to prepare anyway. Always keep a copy of your car insurance cards in your vehicle. That way, you can contact your insurance agent in case of problems. See if your policy offers perks like towing and roadside assistance protection. Your insurer might be able to dispatch help to you if you find yourself without easy access to vehicle services.