The Department for Transport has just launched a new Think! Country Roads Campaign, focusing on the need for safety and awareness on the UK’s rural roads.
New figures have found that rural roads are the deadliest, with the Department for Transport data showing that three people died on country roads every day last year (on average). In total there were 1040 people killed and 9051 people seriously injured on country roads in 2014, with a third of all fatalities found to have occurred on a bend. The Department for Transport defines rural roads as ‘all roads outside of urban settlements with a population of 10,000 plus and with any speed limit, but excluding motorways.’
The shocking figures show just how dangerous rural roads can be yet a further survey carried out earlier in October found that nearly 25% of respondents admitted to braking too late on bends and 41% claimed to have had to swerve to avoid a hazard in the road. 2000 people were involved in this survey and it just shows how country roads are not treated with the same level of precaution as busier urban areas.
The issues with rural roads have found to be most common with young drivers, with a third of young drivers surveyed admitting to braking too late and more than 10% admitting to what’s called as ‘taking the racing line’ and crossing onto the opposite side of the road. Young drivers were also found to be the most likely to overtake on a bend with no clear view of the road ahead.
THINK! Launches Helpful Hazards
The Helpful Hazards Campaign is shown well in this video:
Helpful Hazards features both animals and vehicles which have been sprayed with signs to prompt drivers to slow down, brake before the bend and anticipate hazards. The campaign also includes the ‘If you could see’ video and radio adverts which were launched in the October 2014 THINK! Campaign, updated for the new focus. The new campaign has the backing of two high profile sports personalities to help raise awareness with former England rugby player Phil Vickery and British Touring Car Champion, James Cole, both behind the campaign.
The campaign is also supported by the Campaign to Protect Rural England and the Helpful Hazard video and other related campaign adverts should soon be on our television screens and back on the radio.