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Drivers are being urged to slow down on country roads this summer to enable families, walkers, cyclists and horse riders to enjoy great British countryside, as a survey reveals that a huge proportion treat them like racetracks. Results out today from road safety charity Brake and Digby Brown solicitors reveal one in three drivers (33%) admit driving too fast for safety on country roads, by speeding, taking bends fast or overtaking. Four in 10 (37%) have had a near-miss on country roads, while driving, walking or cycling.

Brake and Digby Brown’s survey of 1,000 UK drivers also found:

  • One in five (19%) admit breaking speed limits on country roads in the past year
  • Three in 20 (15%) admit taking corners or brows too fast
  • One in 20 (5%) admit overtaking when it isn’t safe
  • Three in 10 (28%) have been a passenger with a driver who broke the limit, one in five (19%) with a driver who took corners or brows too fast, and one in 12 (8%) with a driver who overtook when it wasn’t safe.
  • Four in five (80%) think traffic is too fast for safety on some or most rural roads.

To cut crashes and empower people to enjoy the countryside, Brake is calling on government to lower limits on rural roads to a maximum of 50mph, and require authorities to implement lower limits where there are particular risks. The survey found widespread support for lower limits, with seven in 10 (72%) in favour of more 50, 40 and 30mph limits on country roads, and two thirds (65%) in favour of a 40mph default in national parks.

Brake is urging all drivers to stay well under current limits – bearing in mind 60mph is generally far too fast for safety on these roads – and slow right down for villages, bends, brows and bad weather, and avoid overtaking. Drivers should always assume that someone, or something, could be around any corner.

Read about Brake’s Rural roads not racetracks campaign.

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