Country roads safety drive launched as death toll reaches three every day


Country roads are the deadliest in Britain with an average of three people dying on them every day, according to new figures.

A total of 1,040 people were killed and 9,051 were seriously injured on country roads last year with more than a third (348) of fatalities occurring on a bend, Department for Transport statistics show.

Meanwhile a survey of 2,000 motorists in England and Wales found that almost a quarter (23%) admit to braking too late on bends and two-fifths (41%) claim to have swerved to avoid something in the road.

The problem is most prevalent among drivers aged 18-24, with almost a third (32%) confessing to reaching a bend too fast, while 14% admit to taking the so-called racing line by crossing into the opposite side of the road to complete a turn faster.

Road safety project THINK! has launched a new country roads campaign in a bid to encourage drivers to anticipate hazards and brake before they reach a bend, not on it.

Former England rugby star Phil Vickery, who is supporting the campaign, said: "I do a lot of driving on winding country roads every day. I'm often shocked at the lack of care other drivers take when driving around blind bends.

"Both my wife and I have been involved in several near misses and minor incidents so this is something very close to my heart.

"You never know what might be around the corner. From cyclists, horse riders and wildlife to debris and slow-moving vehicles, we all have a duty of care to be respectful to all users of the countryside and keep each other safe."

Road safety minister, Andrew Jones, commented: "Every injury and death on our roads is a tragedy and that is why the new THINK! country road campaign is so important.

"We want the public to anticipate potential hazards on the road when driving in the countryside, to watch their speed and take care when approaching a bend."

The DfT figures classed country roads as all roads outside of urban settlements with a population of at least 10,000, excluding motorways.