Three people die every day on country roads, warns DfT
The Department for Transport data show that 1,040 people were killed and 9,051 seriously injured on country roads in 2014, with a third (348) of fatalities occurring on a bend.
DfT data also shows that almost a quarter of road users admit to braking too late on bends and two-fifths (41%) claim to have swerved to avoid something in the road.
The DfT added that the problem is most acute among young drivers, with a third confessing to braking too late before a bend and more than one in 10 admitting to ‘taking the racing line’ by crossing into the opposite side of the road to take a turn faster. Young drivers are also the most likely age group to overtake on a bend without a clear road ahead.
In response, a new THINK! campaign is encouraging drivers on country roads to brake before the bend, not on it. THINK! has partnered with a farmer to turn potential road hazards into impossible-to-ignore warning signs. ‘Helpful hazards’ features animals and vehicles sprayed with helpful signs prompting drivers to slow down, anticipate hazards and brake before the bend, not on it.
Road Safety Minister Andrew Jones said: “Every injury and death on our roads is a tragedy and that is why the new THINK! country roads campaign is so important. We want the public to anticipate potential hazards on the road when driving in the countryside, to watch their speed and take care when approaching a bend.”
British Touring Car champion James Cole is also backing the THINK! campaign. He said: “I’m concerned that so many people take the racing line on bends. It’s one thing to do that in a racetrack environment but quite another to do it with no knowledge of what is around the corner. Take more care, anticipate hazards, stay in control and give yourself more time to react by braking before the bend, not on it.”