Just a month after we discussed safety on rural roads, the Department for Transport has launched a new multimedia campaign focusing on safety on country roads. Think! the government’s road safety campaigns unit launched their new campaign on the 9th October and has the backing of many national bodies including Brake, the road safety charity.
Country Roads Pose A Real Danger
The Department for Transport have collected some shocking stats about driving on rural roads and their new campaign comes with plenty of info on their website as well as posters across the UK. They have also produced the film ‘If You Could See’ which shows the dangers of not slowing down when taking bends in rural areas and challenges viewers to consider how they’d drive differently if they could see the danger through bends. Altogether the campaign is driving home the message that country roads are highly dangerous, more so than urban roads, and should be treated with respect and caution.
The facts that Think! have collected make grim reading. They assert that 60% of all fatalities take place in country roads and this equates to an average of three people dying every day on country roads. The number of people dying on this type of road is nearly 11 times higher than on motorways and in 2013 there were 1,070 fatalities and 9,104 serious injuries just on country roads.
Watch Your Speed
As our previous blog post discussed speed limits are just as valid on country roads as anywhere else and you must not drive any faster than the speed limit for the type of road you’re on and your type of vehicle. Think! also caution that the speed limit needs to be considered as the absolute maximum and it takes your intuition and common sense as a driver to reduce speeds dependent on conditions and the environment.
Brake’s summer campaign suggested speed limits across all rural roads should be brought down to a maximum of 50 mph, lower in some areas, but Think! don’t appear to echo this sentiment and instead provide some valuable and useful advice to guide road users in rural environments.
Brake Before the Bend
The strapline of the whole government campaign is Brake before the bend, not on it and this is due to the high number of accidents which take place on and just after bends on country roads. Many drivers don’t appreciate the sharpness of the bends on country roads until they’ve already taken the turn and therefore braking in advance is the best course of action.
The dangers of country roads are something more and more people are being made aware of and there is hope this latest campaign will help decrease the number of deaths on the roads.