There are numerous dirt and gravel roads throughout Texas. In Houston and elsewhere, you can check to see if you will need to travel down a gravel road any time soon with this intuitive map

Although many drivers travel down these roads recreationally or to get to work, they pose numerous dangers. You need to drive carefully to avoid a collision with another vehicle or an accident involving yourself. 

Maintain a safe speed

You will not find any speed limit signs on gravel roads. Many people view that as an invitation to drive fast and loose, but you need to travel slower than usual. The reason for this is that your vehicle’s tires do not have as good traction on loose gravel than asphalt. If you end up losing control of your vehicle, then driving slower will allow you to react better. As you approach hills, drops and turns, you want to reduce acceleration well in advance. 

Do not overtake another vehicle

When driving down a dirt road, you may encounter another car. When this vehicle travels slower than you would like, it can become tempting to overtake it. You never want to do this. Roads have additional lanes you can pass other vehicles, but those do not exist on gravel roads. You want to maintain a safe distance. When the other driver sees you, he or she should pull off when it is safe to do so to let you pass. 

Steer safely

Sudden inputs from the road can cause the steering wheel to jerk around unexpectedly. You need to keep both hands on the wheel at all times, so you can react appropriately to sudden changes in the road. No matter how confident you are in your abilities, you should not use your cellphone, eat or do anything else while driving down a gravel road. Your safety is the primary priority.