When I was learning to drive, my instructor told me I had a natural ability. In fact, he went as far as to say there weren’t too many vehicles I wouldn’t be able to drive. Now, I’m not blowing my own trumpet. After all, it took me 3 times before I passed my test.
My instructor put this down to nerves, which is a story for another day! However, I digress because this article isn’t about how many times it takes to pass a driving test, or even how confident you are in a vehicle. Well, it might have a little to do with confidence and how that could be your undoing!
You may (or may not) have noticed that the Government has recently started a THINK campaign, and this is all about the hazards you can come across when driving in the country. They have pointed out that a massive 60% of fatal car accidents happen on quiet country roads. This equates to three people PER day dying!
If those statistics aren’t enough to make you sit up and THINK, take this for an example. 11 times more people die on country roads than on UK motorways! This might you lead you to ask (as it did me) why when there is so much more traffic on a motorway and it’s travelling a lot quicker.
Well, you’re about to find out.
How Country Roads Differ to Motorways
I could start by going on about the fact that motorways have more than one lane etc, but that would just be an attempt at teaching you to “suck eggs”. What you need to think about is that country roads have lots of twists and turns and not just that, they hide potential hazards.
This includes the following:
- Concealed entrances or junctions
- Dips in the road
- Blind bends and summits
- Overgrown hedges or trees
- Debris on the road that can cause your vehicle to skid such as wet leaves.
OK, so you might get wet leaves on a motorway (just like you do on a train tracks)! However, the other hazards mentioned are VERY real, and as mentioned above can cause you to lose your life.
How to Be Safe On Country Roads
It goes without saying you should never speed when you drive in the country. In fact, you shouldn’t speed anywhere! The Government has explained any speed limit that’s set on this type of road isn’t something to aim for. For instance, the National speed limit is 60mph but this doesn’t mean you have to drive that fast!
When you approach bends, pay heed to the signs (you should know what they are) telling you how sharp it is. Plus, you should never break ON a bend but before it. Oh, and the biggest no-no is impatience! Overtaking shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially where cyclists, horse-riders and slow moving vehicles are concerned.
You may think the information above is obvious, but given the statistics pointed out here, it’s also obvious not every driver pays heed to safety on country roads. The message is don’t become a statistic!