Country Roads


Brake before the bend, not on it

59% of all fatalities occur on country roads. These roads often have sharp bends and blind bends which can hide unexpected hazards. Stay in control and give yourself time to react because you never know what’s around the corner. THINK! Brake before the bend, not on it.

The facts

  • 59% of all fatalities occur on country roads
  • Three people die each day on average on country roads
  • The number of people killed on country roads is nearly 10 times higher than on motorways
  • In 2015, 10,307 people were killed or seriously injured on country roads in Great Britain

The law

You must not drive faster than the speed limit for the type of road and your type of vehicle. The speed limit is the absolute maximum and it doesn’t mean it's safe to drive at this speed in all conditions.

Find out more about speed limitsOpens new window

THINK! Advice



The best drivers read the road ahead and anticipate potential hazards. Look out for upcoming bends, hidden dips, blind summits and concealed entrances.

Country roads often have sharp bends. To stay in control and give yourself time to react to unexpected hazards, brake before the bend, not in it.

Overgrown verges, bushes and trees on country roads can block your view and potentially obscure an oncoming hazard. Always drive at a speed which will allow you to stop in the distance you can see to be clear (double that on a single track road). Allow more time to stop on wet or slippy surfaces.

The speed limit is a limit not a target. The national speed limit on single carriage roads is 60mph, but there will be times you need to drive under that in order to drive correctly for the conditions. In fact most people do on these roads – the average free flow speed is 48mph.

If you get stuck behind a slow moving vehicle be patient. Dips in roads, bends and other junctions joining your road often hide oncoming vehicles, so unless it's absolutely safe, don't overtake.

If passing more vulnerable road users such as horse riders, cyclists and walkers, pass wide and slow.

Even if you’re familiar with a country road, never take it for granted as the conditions can be different every time.

roads if you could see

WATCH: '‘If you could see’’'
Our film uses 3D scanning technology to allow viewers to see through the bends on a country road and spot the hazards ahead.

WATCH: '‘Helpful Hazards'

We've partnered with a farmer to turn potential hazards on country roads into ‘helpful hazards’

LISTEN:

READ:

Our three case studies highlight the serious consequences of having an accident or collision on a country road.

THINK! Education

THINK! Resource Centre

THINK! road safety education resources organised into lesson packs by age and key stage: