Driving on rural roads
At Blue our pass plus courses for Driving on Rural or Country prepares you for the worst.
60% of fatal road accidents occur on country roads. In 2013, 1,070 people were killed on country roads, nearly 11 times higher than on motorways.
THINK! research shows that drivers underestimate the risks of country roads – they are seen as the ‘fun’ part of driving and many drivers become complacent on roads they are familiar with. The most common contributory factor for these casualties is loss of control resulting from poor observation and planning, too high an entry speed into the bend and driving too fast for the conditions.
Most rural roads have a speed limit of 60 mph, however, this doesn’t mean you should always drive at this speed. As with all driving, you should drive at an appropriate speed for the road condition you face. Many rural roads are narrow, twisting and can have a poor road surface, all these factors need to be taken into account.
Many inexperienced drivers take corners too fast, especially on rural roads where the severity of a bend can be hard to judge. You should always reduce your speed as you approach a bend. Remember the bend may hide a horse and rider, a slow-moving vehicle or another hazard.
Adapt your driving to the appropriate type and condition of road you are on. In particular
•do not treat speed limits as a target. It is often not appropriate or safe to drive at the maximum speed limit
•take the road and traffic conditions into account. Be prepared for unexpected or difficult situations, for example, the road being blocked beyond a blind bend. Be prepared to adjust your speed as a precaution
•where there are junctions, be prepared for road users emerging
•in side roads and country lanes look out for unmarked junctions where nobody has priority
•be prepared to stop at traffic control systems, road works, pedestrian crossings or traffic lights as necessary
•try to anticipate what pedestrians and cyclists might do. If pedestrians, particularly children, are looking the other way, they may step out into the road without seeing you.