Rural roads

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Make sure you drive carefully on Shropshire's rural roads

The Fire and Rescue Service attend numerous Road Traffic Collisions on Shropshire's rural roads       The Fire and Rescue Service attend numerous Road Traffic Collisions on Shropshire's rural roads

Figures from the Department for Transport show that of the 1,663 car drivers and passengers killed in 2004, some 1,133 died on rural roads


Statistics ^ Top  

Statistically urban roads are the most dangerous type of roads for all drivers

Type of road Serious collisions Casualties
Motorways 3% 4%
Rural 23% 50%
Urban 74% 46%

Drivers are urged to drive carefully on rural roads as the majority of all fatalities (64%) occur on rural roads, and over 15,000 people were killed or seriously injured last year on rural roads.

However a recent survey revealed that drivers on rural roads are driving with less care than on urban roads. In particular:

Younger (17-28 year olds) and inexperienced drivers (driving for less than a year) are taking the most risks with almost one in ten of those surveyed admitting they think it's safer to break the speed limit on rural roads due to the lack of cars around
A third (33%) of all younger drivers are also confident that fewer crashes take place on rural roads because they are quieter
13% of men questioned agreed that it was safer to break the speed limit on rural roads due to the lack of cars around as opposed to only 2% of women
Almost double (40%) the amount of men than women (24%) thought that fewer crashes take place on rural roads because they are quieter
Over twice (21%) as many men as women (10%) think it's safe to drive faster on rural roads late at night because they believe you'll see headlights coming the other way as well as almost a quarter (22%) of younger drivers

Source: Department of Transport


Driving on country roads is a lot more dangerous than many drivers realise. Firefighters release a victim from their vehicle using high-tech cutting equipment      
Dangers of rural roads
  • Blind corners
  • High hedges/trees
  • Wet or icy conditions
  • Narrow carriageway
  • No pavements
  • Pot holes
  • Debris, such as fallen branches or farm waste

Source: Brake - the Road Safety Charity


Advice from the Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service road safety team
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Don't think it's safe to break the speed limit on rural roads just because there is less traffic. There are unforeseen hazards, such as blind bends or animals in the road that could lead to crashes. At slower speeds, you would be able to react to these unforeseen hazards more quickly
Take special care when driving at night on rural roads as other drivers' headlights could temporarily blind you
You need to adjust your speed and driving according to the weather and road conditions on rural roads, as rain and other hazards are often contributory factors in rural crashes. Select the following link for our winter driving advice
With a clear road ahead you may be tempted to put your foot down. But THINK! Before you start to speed on rural roads

Country Code ^ Top  
  • On hills, the vehicle going downhill should give way — unless it is a lorry
  • Drivers on narrow lanes must be able to stop in half the distance that can be seen along the road
  • When approaching a blind corner a driver should imagine that a cyclist has fallen round the bend
  • On meeting a vehicle on a narrow road the driver who is the shorter distance from a passing place should reverse. But remember that van drivers have limited rear visibility

Source: Institute of Advanced Motorists


Remember: Slow down, adjust your driving to meet weather conditions and the lighting; roads may become slippery due to debris left behind from farm vehicles