ROAD SAFETY organisation, GEM Motoring Assist, is advising road users and pedestrians to take special care on rural roads as nearly six out of every 10 fatalities in the UK occur on this type of road. Here are GEM’s 5 top tips for staying safe on rural roads:
5 top tips for staying safe on rural roads
- Take it slow – drive at a speed that will enable you to stop on your side of the road within the distance you can see to be clear ahead
- Even familiar rural roads can surprise you so be alert and always expect the unexpected, particularly as you negotiate a bend or hill brow; be prepared to slow right down, or stop if need be
- Watch out for animals and give them plenty of space – you may need to pull over and switch off your engine, to avoid alarming an edgy horse or farm animal
- Don’t leave anything to chance or take unnecessary risks when overtaking
- Absorb and use any road information that’s there for you, like signs and road paint that indicate hazards ahead. Mud on the road could mean slow-moving tractors and horse manure – especially if it’s fresh – suggests horses may be ahead
Rural road statistics
In 2015, 10,307 people were killed or seriously injured in accidents on rural roads in Great Britain, according to the Department for Transport.
GEM road safety officer Neil Worth said;
“On average, three people die every day on rural roads. What’s more the rural road death toll is 10 times higher than on motorways. This is worrying but not surprising, given the variation in road types, terrain and visibility, and the variety of different road users sharing the same space.
“Crashes occur frequently because motorists meet ‘unexpected’ hazards such as sharp bends, animals or oncoming traffic. If they’re already driving at an inappropriate speed, then they simply won’t have the time and space they need to stop safely. In these circumstances, a serious collision would be inevitable.
“The key message is to slow down. Vast stretches of the rural road network are subject to the national speed limit, which for cars and motorbikes is 60mph. But that’s not a target, and it’s often reckless to drive on a rural road at anywhere near that speed.”
More information from GEM Motoring Assist
There is a specific page on GEM’s website focusing on rural road safety.
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