Thursday, 22 October 2015 21:50

Rural roads 'are Britain's deadliest'

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Rural roads 'are Britain's deadliest'

Rural roads are the deadliest in Britain, with an average of three people dying on them every day last year.

In total, 1,040 people were killed and 9,051 seriously injured on country roads in 2014, reveal new figures from the Department for Transport.

One third (348) of the fatalities occurred on a bend, show the statistics.

Despite, almost a quarter of road users surveyed admit to braking too late on bends and two fifths (41%) claimed to have swerved to avoid something in the road.

The problem is most acute among young drivers, with a third confessing to braking too late before a bend.

More than 1 in 10 admitting to 'taking the racing line' by crossing into the opposite side of the road to take a turn faster.

Young drivers are also the most likely age group to overtake on a bend without a clear road ahead, the statistics reveal.

In response, the THINK! safety partnership has launched a new country roads campaign - with a publicity stunt spray-painting farm animals and vehicles with signs urging drivers to slow down.

Road safety minister Andrew Jones said: "Every injury and death on our roads is a tragedy and that is why the new THINK! country roads campaign is so important.

"We want the public to anticipate potential hazards on the road when driving in the countryside, to watch their speed and take care when approaching a bend."

The campaign is being backed by former England rugby player Phil Vickery.

"As someone who lives in the countryside, I do a lot of driving on winding country roads every day," said Mr Vickery.

"I'm often shocked at the lack of care other drivers take when driving around blind bends.

"Both my wife and I have been involved in several near misses, and minor incidents, so this is something very close to my heart.

"You never know what might be around the corner."

Rural campaigners are also supporting the campaign.

Shaun Spiers, chief executive of the Campaign to Protect Rural England said country roads and lanes were for everyone.

"They are often beautiful, lined by high hedges and dry stone walls. They are part of rural life. But they also account for the majority of fatal crashes. 

"Even if you think you know a road like the back of your hand, you can never be sure what's round the corner.

"So let's keep our country roads safe for everyone too. Please take care, and keep your speed down."

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