Know the dangers of the gravel road

Dawn Rye | Writer

Gravel roads are a fact of life for many rural Turner County drivers that present particular road challenges all year round. Driving on loose gravel is more complex than driving on pavement because vehicle tires do not have the traction for stable control. 

Driving on gravel is unpredictable and can be challenging. It can sometimes be a dangerous surface to navigate, especially when it comes to weather, harvest season with farm equipment and clouds of dust created by other vehicles on the gravel road. All of these scenarios can change the gravel conditions quickly. 

On Wednesday, Nov. 3rd Turner County Sheriff Office was dispatched to an injury accident just north of Parker on 453rd and 274th.  When the deputy arrived, he located three occupants outside the vehicle that had struck a tree. After further investigation and being medically cleared, the driver was arrested for Vehicular Battery, Reckless Driving, DUI 1st, and Open Container in a Motor Vehicle. Both passengers sustained nonlife-threatening injuries. 

Local authorities were assisted by the South Dakota Highway Patrol, Parker Fire, Parker Ambulance, Lennox Ambulance, Marion Ambulance, and Darrell’s Towing of Freeman.

Experts explain that the center of the road is the safest when driving on gravel. Remember to slow down on loose gravel or hard-packed gravel. Avoid sudden changes in direction, such as a swerve to avoid an object or animal on the road. When cresting a hill, move towards the right side of the road in case there is oncoming traffic that isn’t visible.

Drivers should have complete control of their vehicles before increasing speed on gravel.

Accelerate and brake slowly and reduce speed when approaching intersections, curves and hills. Always drive at a pace that allows the vehicle to stop quickly to avoid hazards. 

A commonplace for accidents on rural roads is when a paved road suddenly changes to gravel. Typically, the issue is that the driver fails to reduce speed before the changeover to gravel and then loses control of the vehicle.

Increase following distance if there is traffic on the roadway. Even if the visibility is good and the road is hard-packed, stay six seconds behind other vehicles. Increasing this distance when conditions are less than perfect will reduce the danger from a cloud of dust obscuring vision or flying rocks damaging the windshield.

Comments are closed.

  • Make a big impact by shopping small on Small Business Saturday

    November 23rd, 2021
    by

    Dawn Rye | Writer Situated between the long lines of Black Friday and the seemingly minute-long online deals of Cyber […]


    Discussion on medical marijuana cultivation continues

    November 23rd, 2021
    by

    Dawn Rye | Writer Running a medical cannabis operation is not for everyone, but it can be profitable and benefit […]


    Be Alert to Scammers over the Holidays

    November 23rd, 2021
    by

    Dawn Rye | Writer Hackers and thieves have always targeted the credit card industry. Unfortunately, the most common scams have […]


    Turner County Youth Pheasant Hunt a success

    November 23rd, 2021
    by

    The Turner County Charity Youth Pheasant Hunt was held at Wings of Valor Lodge on Saturday, Oct. 30. Fifteen youth […]


    A new calling for worship

    November 18th, 2021
    by

    Dawn Rye | Writer Whether families or individuals attend church on Wednesdays or Sundays, the call to worship is the […]


  • Medical cannabis regulations discussed in Turner County

    November 18th, 2021
    by

    Dawn Rye | Writer State-level marijuana liberalization policies have been evolving for the past five decades, yet the overall scientific […]


    Parker School District discuss PBIS program

    November 18th, 2021
    by

    Dawn Rye | Writer PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) is a school wide system that implements effective ways to […]


    City Council breezes through agenda

    November 18th, 2021
    by

    Donna Rumbuagh|Managing Editor The Parker City Council met as scheduled on Monday, November 8th at 7 p.m.  The meeting was […]


    Parker honor rolls

    November 18th, 2021
    by

    High School A Honor Roll Cole Abbott Mykenzie Amick Olivia Anderson Landon Beck Rachel Becker Brooke Berens Halle Berens Levi […]


    East River deer rifle season opens this weekend; hunters and motorists need to stay sharp

    November 18th, 2021
    by

    Troy Schwans | Editor In the 1900’s hunting seasons established by the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks […]


  • What’s Happening

    Ralph Long

    90 Tuesday, Nov. 2 Hurley Ralph Roger Long was born on Feb. 8, 1931 to Balsor and Rose (Petersen) Long northwest […]

    Berens signs with Augustana Vikings

    Brooke Berens recently signed her National Letter of Intent to play college volleyball for the Augustana Vikings. Berens made countless […]

    Parker School host Veteran’s Day program

    Veterans Day is a special day to remember the military men and women who have sacrificed their lives to provide […]