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Car tire on gravel road.

Tips for driving on gravel roads

Driving on gravel is different than driving on pavement because tires don't have the same amount of traction. This makes it harder to control your vehicle, especially at high speeds.

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Gravel roads connect communities, farms and homes across rural Canada, but can often be hazardous to drive on. In Manitoba, a large proportion of serious vehicle accidents occur on gravel roads, says Sgt. Mark Hume from Westman RCMP Traffic Services Unit.

That's why the Manitoba RCMP partnered with Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) last summer for an awareness and enforcement campaign, targeting drivers on rural gravel roads. The campaign was so successful, the RCMP will be out patrolling the country roads again this summer.

Here's what Hume and MPI, the province's public auto insurance provider, recommend for staying safe when driving on gravel:

  • Slow down when moving from pavement to gravel.
  • Avoid any sudden changes in direction or speed — don't brake hard and steer gently.
  • If you lose control, take your foot off the gas and steer in the direction you want to go.
  • Avoid losing control by driving in the tracks of other vehicles.
  • Keep distance between you and the vehicle ahead.
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