Motorists are being warned to expect the unexpected when travelling on country roads this summer.
GEM Motoring Assist has made the warning, highlighting the fact that rural roads account for nearly 60% of all road fatalities (a total of 982 in 2014).
The road safety and breakdown organisation has put together a list of tips to guide drivers. These include paying attention to any existing road signage and making sure never to exceed the signed speed limit.
Due to the narrowness of many country roads, motorists should always be ready to drive or reverse into passing points, advises GEM. Poor road surface can also plague rural lanes, and so being prepared for potholes and other broken surfaces is also paramount.
Chief executive of GEM, David Williams MBE says: “Driving in the countryside is usually a great pleasure, with good views, quiet roads and a variety of interesting terrain. But a narrow, twisting road offers very little clue as to what might be round the next bend. That’s why we’re urging drivers to expect the unexpected and to make sure they have time and space to stop safely if necessary.”
Finally, motorists are warned to look out for horses, and to wait patiently until it is safe to pass them, travelling slowly while giving them a wide berth.
Williams continued: “What’s round the corner on a rural road with restricted visibility? It could be another car or a motorcycle coming towards you too fast, a group of cyclists on a ride out, sheep or cattle crossing the road, a horse and rider, a wild animal, a slow-moving farm tractor…
“The point is that until you have perfect sight of what’s ahead, you need to be ready to anticipate what could be there. By adjusting your speed and position accordingly, you’re doing your bit to keep yourself and the other road users safe.”