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Danger on the dirt road

One staple feature of our Madison's community is its unpaved roads. These dirt, clay or gravel roads wind beautifully through the countryside, past pastures or underneath hundred year old live oak canopies. Many of Madison County's residents grew up and are raising their children on dirt roads. As many of us know, however, dirt roads are not always a safe place. After it rains, dirt roads can become slick and bogged down, increasing the likelihood of an accident. On the other hand, when the same roads are overly dry, they can become extremely dusty, so that when motorists drive down them at accelerated speeds, a cloud of dust forms behind the vehicle. This dust can make it difficult to see road's ditches, wildlife, pedestrians or oncoming drivers. As these roads generally have relatively low traffic, they are often narrow and not highly patrolled by police. These facts make for a potentially deadly combination: a seemingly open, un-policed road may tempt motorists to drive at speeds that could easily cause them to get in an accident themselves, cause another vehicle to swerve and crash, impair driver visibility or hit a pedestrian. People enjoying a walk, jog, or bike ride on these roads do not have the protection provided by a car, and the results of a high speed collision could be disastrous. Remember to always be alert and aware while driving on dirt roads; just because you do not see another car or person, does not mean they are not there. Watch your speed and watch the road. No matter how big of a hurry you are in, it is not worth a life.

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