Three in 10 drivers steer clear of narrow country lanes
More than half of drivers (58%) say they find using narrow country roads stressful – to the extent that three in 10 admit to deliberately steering clear of them.
The research from car insurer Ageas and the RAC reveals the two biggest causes of stress are the difficulty of squeezing past other vehicles in tight spaces (62%) and the fear of colliding with another vehicle head on (61%).
But this is closely followed by having to try to reverse back to find a passing place (45%), the fear of meeting a tractor and not being able to pass (44%) and deciding who has to back up to a passing place (37%).
And more than a third (36%) say they think the default 60mph limit on country roads is just too fast to begin with, while 35% say they fear damaging their car.
One in 10 drivers admit they’ve had an argument with another driver over who should go back when driving on a narrow country road.
To avoid such stress, on average, drivers are prepared to add 16 miles to their journey or a further 25 minutes to stick to wider roads.
City-dwellers are also much more concerned about narrow country lanes and go to longer distances to escape them. Three-quarters (76%) of these drivers say they find them stressful and that they’d be willing to add 23 miles or 30 minutes to their journey to avoid them.
RAC Breakdown spokesman Simon Williams said: “For any driver less confident with tackling rural lanes the message has to be to plan a journey properly before setting out, and drive at the right speed according to the nature of the road, even if the official limit is 60mph. We’d also advise not becoming too reliant on a car’s sat-nav – while ducking off a main road to shave off a few minutes might seem like a good idea, if you’re then faced with having to carefully negotiate a tractor and queue of vehicles coming the other way, any advantage is soon lost.”