COUNTY NEWS: Take care on rural roads
A leading rural insurer is calling on people to take care on rural roads this Road Safety Week.
As winter sets in, rural road users should be cautious and remember that on cold, icy days country roads may not be gritted, so should adapt their behaviour accordingly, according to NFU Mutual.
As well as hazadous weather conditions, it’s important to be aware of farm vehicles, slow moving vehicles and other, more vulnerable road users, such as walkers, horse riders and cyclists.
Drivers used to well-maintained ‘A’ roads can sometimes fail to appreciate the hazards of rural roads, warned Tim Price, NFU Mutual Rural Affairs Specialist.
He said: “Accidents are caused all too frequently when drivers of fast-moving vehicles fail to appreciate that horses or a tractor could be around the next corner.
“Worryingly, 60 per cent of fatalities occur on country roads and the number of people killed on country roads is nearly 11 times higher than on motorways.
“Some of the most serious accidents involve farm vehicles coming into collision with fast moving cars, lorries and motorcycles.
“This is why it’s important to be cautious and considerate of other road users, especially if weather conditions are poor.”
According to the Department for Transport, in the year ending September 2015, traffic volumes increased by 5.8 per cent on minor rural roads, the biggest percentage increase of any road type, to 45.4 billion vehicle miles.
On rural ‘A’ roads traffic also rose by 2.0 per cent to 90.7 billion vehicle miles.
Road Safety Week is an initiative of the charity Brake, and runs from November 23 to 29.
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