New campaign to raise awareness of dangers
The “THINK!” campaign have launched a new initiative to raise awareness of the sometimes ignored and often underestimated dangers of driving on rural roads.
Based on the chilling statistic that 60% of all road fatalities occur in the country, the Department of Transport want to prevent the three deaths that occur every day on average on rural roads. Given the respective volumes of traffic they carry, it really is a wake up call to drivers to learn that the number of deaths on country roads is 11 times higher than on motorways.
Regrettably a combination of driving at excessive speed, a failure to appreciate the likelihood of hazards, and poor anticipation of the road ahead is contributing to this unacceptable and worrying level of injuries and deaths.
“THINK!” are offering advice to drivers in the country, and this advice applies equally to those who regularly drive in rural locations, and those who come from towns and cities.
Anticipating the road ahead, in particular look out for bends, hidden dips, blind summits and concealed entrances
- Stay in control, give yourself time to react to unexpected hazards and brake before the bend not in it
- Always drive at a speed where you can stop in the distance you can see to be clear – remember overgrown bushes and trees can obscure your view and the presence of hazards
- Speed limits are just that – not a target or a minimum. Drive at speeds that are safe for the road type and conditions. Commonly rural roads have a 60mph speed limit, but it is normal to drive well within that, the average free flow speed for such roads is actually closer to 48mph
- If you get caught behind tractors or other slow vehicles – be patient and only overtake if essential to do so
- Give horses, cyclist and pedestrians space, pass them wide and slow
- Familiarity with a road does not mean you will be safe on it, conditions and unexpected hazards can be different every time
Following this advice is likely to keep not only you safe, but other road users as well. The devastation of causing serious injuries or even the death of someone else is something people then have to live with for the rest of their lives, and of course the life changing and catastrophic impact on the victim or their family is something no-one should have to go through.
To read more about the campaign and the thoughts of British touring Cars Champion James Cole – please follow this link