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Drivers urged to take extra care when driving in the countryside

Motorists are being urged to take extra care on roads in the countryside to avoid accidents as lockdown measures begin to ease.

With sharp bends, poor surfaces and limited visibility already making rural roads more dangerous than urban roads or motorways, the NFU is concerned that the easing of lockdown rules could result in a spate of accidents with traffic on rural roads expected to soar in England.

To help all rural road users stay safe, the insurer has put together a rural road safety checklist.

It urges motorists to adapt their driving style to take account of rural road hazards and to be aware of slow-moving farm vehicles and vulnerable road users such as horse riders, walkers and the growing number of cyclists on rural roads.

Rebecca Davidson, rural affairs specialist at NFU Mutual, said: “As the main insurer of the countryside, we are very much aware that country roads are more dangerous than motorways and urban roads.

“With more people expected to use countryside routes after weeks of strict lockdown, we are urging all road users to take great care to avoid accidents at a time when the NHS is under huge pressure.

“In the countryside, you never know if there will be a tractor, horses, or a walker round the next corner and every year NFU Mutual deals with claims resulting from serious accidents involving farm vehicles being hit by fast-moving traffic.”

Advice being issued to drivers includes sticking to speed limits, slowing down on winding roads and for horses, keeping an eye out for wildlife, being patient for farm vehicles, preparing for livestock delays and watching out for cyclists.

The NFU also advises motorists not to rely on signs and road markings as country roads may not have signage to warn of hazards, to avoid overcrowded beauty spots and not to park in narrow lanes or gateways.

For more tips on rural driving visit www.nfumutual.co.uk

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