Raising awareness of Road Safety Week – how to stay safe on our rural roads

The majority of accidents happen on rural roads, making them the most dangerous type of road, used by many, including cars, farm vehicles, cyclists and horse riders.

One of the major concerns on rural roads is the speed limits, which can cause collisions at junctions, vehicles veering off the road and even head-on collisions. Statistics show that in 2017 there were 992 fatalities on rural roads, compared to 607 on urban roads*.  

 

Here, we offer some tips for safer driving.

 

  1. Read the signs – rural roads are extremely diverse compared to urban roads, with hidden dips, blind bends, flooding, and mud and debris on the road. The key is to look for clues, if you come across mud on the road, think ahead, there could be a tractor ahead of you which may be moving slowly or turning into a field.

 

  1. Overtaking – due to the design of roads and fallen debris, overtaking should be avoided as many drivers miscalculate the visibility of the road, and the speed and distance of oncoming vehicles. However, if you do come across a slow-moving vehicle, horse riders or cyclists you must pass wide and slow. They will usually give signals when safe to do so.

 

  1. Speed – the average speed on rural roads is 60mph. However, due to the design of roads, with blind bends, potholes and fallen leaves, it can be dangerous to drive at this speed. Be cautious of your surroundings and slow down when necessary.

 

  1. Animals – wild animals tend to spend a lot of time around rural roads, due to the grass verges, trees and bushes surrounding them. If a small animal does approach the road, do not swerve or stop the car, this will cause danger to you, your passengers and passing vehicles. However, if you come across a deer, you should stop the car and sound your horn, deer can cause serious damage to vehicles.

 

  1. Tractors and farm vehicles – these usually travel slowly; be patient and don’t overtake if you are unable to see what is coming in the opposite direction. Many farmers will signal when it is safe for you to overtake them.

 

  1. Horse riders – you may come across a horse rider on country roads. Slow down to a maximum of 15mph** and avoid sounding your horn or revving your engine, as this could spook the horse and cause injury to the horse and rider.

 

  1. Cyclists and pedestrians – rural roads don’t tend to have footpaths for cyclists and pedestrians. Stay aware and decrease your speed when approaching the top of the hill or a bend.

If you would like some independent advice on your insurances, please give us a call on 01653 697055 or email enquiries@mcclarroninsurance.com.

You can find other past blog articles on road safety here.

 

*https://www.rospa.com/en/Road-Safety/Advice/Road-Users/Rural

**https://www.bhs.org.uk/our-work/safety/dead-slow

 

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