Tips for driving on rural roads are being offered by road safety charity the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and Britain's leading advanced driver, Peter Rodger.
As this weekend marks National Drive It day, Mr Rodger encourages people to take a pleasure drive in the countryside. In abreakdown of advice for safe rural driving, Mr Rodger says:
- Be certain that you can bring your vehicle to a stop within a distance you can see on your lane of the road. If, for example, you are coming to a bend, you should slow up so you can stop easily. Speed up only when plenty of clear road is visible ahead.
- Know that cyclists, horses and other vulnerable road users are likely to be using rural roads. Give them plenty of space to manoeuvre.
- Country roads wind. To help guide you, use tree lines, telegraph poles and hedges to determine where the road ahead is going.
- Be particularly cautious when driving past stand-alone buildings and houses as vehicles and people may be in the area.
- If you see mud on the road, there is a good chance that farm animals and vehicles are using the road. Expect to see them coming out of field openings and around bends in the road and just beyond brows.
- Keep your vehicle steady and don't swerve if a rabbit or other small animal runs in front of you. A broken fog light or dented bumper is better than a serious accident due to lost control of your vehicle.
"Driving on rural roads requires different skills than driving on urban roads. The unexpected hazards, twisty roads and high speed limits make rural roads tricky, so take extra care and adjust your speed to match how far down the road you can see," the IAM chief examiner said.
"A skilful drive on a country road can be an especially enjoyable one - it's worth the effort."
Copyright Press Association 2013