Sharing the road in Rush County includes watching out for Amish buggies and large farm equipment, as well as cars and cyclists. Here are a few tips for safe driving on Rush County roads.
1) Be careful when passing. Some farm equipment is too large to safely pass on back roads. Often our back roads lack shoulders. Even when they are available, a lot of farm equipment is too large to safely pull off onto a shoulder to allow drivers to pass. Buggies may not always be able to pull over onto a slope that would accommodate a car. They have a high center of gravity and can tip if they are pulled over onto a slope.
The “horse factor” can also make passing a buggy more challenging. While Amish horses are amazingly well-trained for road work, it’s still possible to spook one. A horse that spooks can jerk to one side or another without warning. When passing a buggy, slow long before you reach the buggy, and pull around it slowly and carefully only when there is plenty of room to pass. If there is an oncoming vehicle, don’t pass. You need to give yourself sufficient distance both behind the buggy when pulling around it, and in front of the buggy when pulling back into your lane. Needless to say, never speed past a buggy.
2) Watch for hills. While there aren’t many hills in the county, it doesn’t take much of a rise to conceal a bike or buggy. Coming over a hill too quickly may not give a cyclist or buggy enough warning to pull over. If you are going too fast, there might not be enough time to stop. If you happen to rear-end a piece of farm equipment, you could be seriously injured. Your vehicle may never recover.
3) Be ready to yield the right-of-way. Since large farm equipment is often too wide to pull onto the shoulder, you may need to pull over instead.
4) Watch for wide turns. Both buggies and farm equipment may pull to the left in preparation for making a right turn. Do not try to pass them if this happens.
5) Be more aware when driving in Rush County. If you keep in mind that driving here requires more care, you are less likely to be in an accident or to injure yourself or someone else.