That’s a frightening statistic. But, it's particularly relevant at this time of the year given that we are in the middle of the summer holiday season. It's also true that many journeys to holiday or day trip destinations will involve, at some point, a degree of driving on rural roads. That driving is likely to come towards the end of the journey when the driver may be tired and their concentration may be slipping.
So, when traveling on rural or country roads, here’s a few things to keep in mind that will help keep you safer on the road:
Visibility: Country roads often suffer from reduced visibility due to large hedgerows, trees and overgrown verges. So, slow down when traveling on country and rural roads and you’ll minimise any surprises that you may find around the corner.
Passing spaces: From time to time country roads will also narrow and you’ll have to use passing places. On such roads, look ahead and when you meet a car coming he other way judge who is best placed to pull over. If in doubt, err on the side of caution and pull into the nearest passing space and let the other person pass.
Wildlife and farm animals: Always be aware that you may encounter wildlife and farm animals loose on country roads. Always try and keep a steady pace that allows you enough time to react when you do encounter them, slow down so as not to frighten them and give them a wide berth as you pass.
Cyclists, horses and walkers: Quieter country roads also attract lots of cyclists, horse riders and walkers in the summer. So, stay alert to the cyclists, keep on the look out for them particularly when going round ‘blind’ bends or over ‘blind’ summits. Also, slow down and give them a wide berth too when you pass them.
Working roads: Remember that rural roads are also working roads and the summer is a busy period for farmers. Be patient and give farm vehicles the time and space that they need .
Patience: Finally, realise that although the national speed limit for cars on rural roads is 60 mph, it may be lower for other vehicles, particularly for lorries and those that are towing something.