Thursday, 21 May 2015 18:04

Rural drivers take evasive action

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Rural drivers take evasive action

MOTORISTS are being urged to slow down on rural roads after a survey revealed the extent of risky, aggressive overtaking.

One in seven drivers (14%) have been forced by another driver's overtaking to swerve, pull over or brake to avoid a collision in the past year, the survey found.

Brake, the road safety charity, and Direct Line insurance are urging drivers to hang back, slow down and chill out on rural roads to avoid tragedies.

The survey found that four in five drivers (80%) have felt endangered by an overtaking manoeuvre, either of their own, their driver, or another vehicle.

Almost all drivers (94%) have witnessed a risky overtaking manoeuvre, and more than half (53%) see them monthly or more often.

One in five drivers (18%) admitted they had overtaken another vehicle when they were not certain if there were any hidden vehicles or hazards they could have hit during the manoeuvre.

Brake deputy chief executive Julie Townsend said: "Overtaking on single carriageway country roads is a huge risk, and one that ultimately just isn't worth it. Why risk it and rush?

"You could cause a devastating, high speed, head on crash that ends lives and ruins others."

In another recent Brake and Direct Line survey, risky overtaking came fourth on a list of UK drivers' road safety concerns, cited by two thirds (66%) of respondents.

Overtaking is a particular problem on single carriageway rural roads, where high speeds and blind bends often make it impossible to be sure the road ahead is clear.

This creates a risk of devastating head-on collisions.

It is one of the reasons rural roads are, per mile travelled, the most dangerous for all types of road user, accounting for more than half (52%) of fatal crashes on UK roads [3].

Brake is urging all drivers to think twice before overtaking on country roads, and only to do so if absolutely essential, for instance to overtake an extremely slow moving vehicle.

Otherwise, it says, drivers should hang back and relax.

Rob Miles, director of motor at Direct Line, said: "People die on rural roads in the UK every day and many of these fatal crashes could be prevented.

"Our own data suggests that young drivers and their passengers are even more likely to be killed on this type of road. Drivers should remember that patience is a virtue.

People in this conversation

  • Guest (Nigel)


    It's all very well wagging the finger at drivers making risky overtaking manouevres, but what about a word to those other drivers that frustrate them into doing it? I'm talking about the Nissan Micra driver who travels at 35 to 40mph, braking at every corner and oncoming vehicle with no intention of letting the queue of fuming drivers behind get past. It's little wonder people take chances in these situations and slow car drivers must surely take some of the blame for the body count?

    from Somerset, UK
  • Guest (Ian)


    Totally agree with Nigel, also not make roads straighter and cut back foliage to drivers have better vision and so make overtakes safer. S**** the idiotic slow limits that are only there for money raising

  • Guest (David)


    The biggest problem around my Northamptonshire rural roads are cyclists taking up half of the road or more, and horses. Both of which travel very slowly and which you have to pass widely and (in the case of horses) slowly. If you waited for the regulation length of straight, clear road you would never get past them as many are narrow and wind incessently.

  • Guest (David)


    Add in the crumbling edges of the roads and potholes, or a particular problem around here are large sections (50+metres length where the left hand metre of the road is 50+cm lower than the centre due to subsidence caused by heavy lorries), and it's a wonder we get anywhere.

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