Six teenagers and a 12-year-old were hurt when two vehicles met head-on on a dirt road at the crest of a hill three miles northeast of Denison yesterday. The Iowa State Patrol’s Jim Saunders says it’s not unusual for drivers to think there may be no other traffic on a country road, but that’s a dangerous assumption. He says when you’re dealing with country roads, especially gravel roads, Saunders says there are few or no traffic-control devices, like stop signs at corners and lane markings like you’d have on a paved road. The two cars, each driven by a 16-year-old, were going down the middle of the country road when they hit coming over the hill. He says people have to be very careful on the rural roads and officers would like them to stop at corners even when there isn’t a sign, and also take care at the crest of a hill when it’s not possible to see oncoming traffic. Drivers on rural highways and gravel roads can tend to take the middle of the road when they think there’s little traffic. He notes there was a very a similar accident Monday in Dallas County. He says the two vehicles hit nearly head-on, but the troopers investigating the accident said seatbelts and child restraints save the occupant’s lives. Saunders says it’s easy to assume there’s little or no chance of meeting another vehicle on a gravel road. He adds a caution for drivers on roads that border farm fields. As the crops grow, especially corn, it can get seven feet tall or more, and it makes it hard to see oncoming traffic when you’re approaching an intersection.
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