BTCC racer urges drivers to slow down on country roads

11 times more people are killed on country roads than motorways in the UK, according to figures from the DfT.

Three people die every day on rural roads in the UK – 11 times more than on motorways, according to new figures from the Department for Transport (DfT).

The shock statistics come as the DfT launches a campaign led by British Touring Car racer James Cole, calling for drivers to be more cautious in the countryside.

Research by the DfT, as part of its latest Think! campaign, found that a quarter of drivers admit to having had a near miss on a country road, while 40% have faced an unexpected hazard, such as an animal.

A third also confess to taking a bend too fast – leading to the DfT urging drivers to brake before a corner and plan for potential hazards.

Cole said: “As a young racing driver, I learnt a number of key skills, such as looking ahead and judging the road conditions. These skills are equally important for everyday driving in Britain.

“Being a responsible driver, I try to anticipate hidden hazards and brake before the bend, and this is critical on country roads – you just don’t know what’s around the next corner.”

The most frequent factor contributing to drivers being killed or seriously injured on country roads is a loss of control – often down to excess speed for the conditions.

Road safety minister Robert Goodwill said: “Britain’s roads are among the safest in the world, but most people don’t know that motorists are nearly 11 times more likely to die in an accident on a country road than on a motorway.

“On average three people die each day on country roads and these are needless tragedies.

“I want the public to understand these risks and adapt their driving to the conditions they face. That is why the new Think! country road campaign is so important – we are urging drivers to read the road ahead, select a safe speed and brake before the bend.”