A recent report released from the Department for Transport (DfT) has shown that you are eleven times more likely to die on country roads in England and Wales than on our motorways.
Figures show there is an average of three deaths on rural roads a day. According to the figures, there were 1,070 deaths on country roads last year compared with 100 deaths on motorways. In total, 1,713 died on the roads in England and Wales in 2013.
It is very easy to become complacent on roads we know well and not see the unforeseen hazards. ”Brake before the bend, not on it’’ is the slogan from the Governments new on-line ‘THINKS’ campaign. Highlighting 60% of all fatalities occur on country roads. These roads often have sharp bends, blind bends and unexpected hazards so brake before the bend to give yourself time to react and stay in control. https://www.gov.uk/speed-limits The best drivers read the road ahead and anticipate potential hazards. Look out for upcoming bends, hidden dips, blind summits and concealed entrances. Overgrown verges, bushes and trees on country roads can block your view and potentially obscure an oncoming hazard. Always drive at a speed which will allow you to stop in the distance you can see to be clear (double that on a single track road). Allow more time to stop on wet or slippery surfaces. The speed limit is a limit not a target. The national speed limit on single carriage roads is 60mph, but there will be times you need to drive under that in order to drive correctly for the conditions. In fact most people do on these roads – the average free flow speed is 48mph. If you get stuck behind a slow moving vehicle be patient. Dips in roads, bends and other junctions joining your road often hide oncoming vehicles, so unless it’s absolutely essential, don’t overtake. If passing more vulnerable road users such as horse riders, cyclists and walkers, pass wide and slow. Even if you’re familiar with a country road, never take it for granted as the conditions can be different every time.
This all goes to support the need to keep campaigning to reduce http://think.direct.gov.uk/country-roads.html the national speed limit on rural roads from 60mph to 50mph. Through our local villages in and around Penistone we are also working with residents, action groups and our Highways Department. Road safety near our local schools continues to be a cause for concern. But in some cases inconsiderate parking is often compounding the problem. We have all been in a rush and pushed for time. But those couple of extra minutes or extra thought does make all the difference and might just prevent an accident or even save someone’s life.