Think about a country road.

Now think about the last time you went for a nice long drive along a country road. They’re usually fairly quiet, particularly later at night, and maybe you feel like that’s a good opportunity to take risks with your speed. Nothing wrong with putting your foot down a little, right?

Now, suppose you accelerated around a sharp bend, with no way of knowing what was around the corner. It doesn’t take a genius to work out what might happen.

Country roads may be the first choice of route for a relaxing drive but they are also responsible for 25% of all serious accidents*.

It is highly likely that you’ll encounter a sharp bend and poor visibility on your travels, which together can make them very dangerous roads to drive on. Throw in some oncoming traffic or even some pedestrians, horse riders, cyclists or wild animals into the mix and you’ve got a recipe for disaster!

Most country roads have a speed limit of 60mph, however that doesn’t mean that it’s safe to drive at this speed. Remember – the speed limit is a maximum not a target!

Our data (we’ve got more than 3 billion miles of it) shows that 56% of all serious accidents on country roads happen due to loss of control. This is the highest contributing factor to seriously injured casualties or fatalities, according to the Think campaign. The next biggest causes are drifting/head on collisions with 29% and pulling out into a third party’s path with 21%*.

This is why it’s very important that you take into account the road in front of you when driving. Even if you’re familiar with specific routes, never take this for granted and let your concentration slip – you could be faced with different conditions every time.

Here are a few helpful tips to keep you safe:
Expect the unexpected – you could encounter many different hazards. Keep your wits about you, a hazard isn’t always something jumping out in front of you it could be the sharp bend in the road that you can’t make out.
Brake before the bend – slow in, safe out. It’s good enough advice to keep Lewis Hamilton safe so do the same. Slow down and go safely round the bend.
Speed vs the conditions of the road – there’s no rush! You don’t have to drive at the speed limit but you’ve got to be safe. Not because we’re telling you it’s a good idea but because it could probably save your life.
Patience is a virtue – in this situation more than many others we think. If you’re behind a slow moving vehicle, just be patient. Don’t overtake at the first opportunity, especially if you can’t see what lies ahead.

Every single day 3 people are killed on average country roads.

Be patient. Be vigilant. Be safe.

For more information and tips on how to drive safe on country roads at night, read our blog.

*insurethebox Analysis of Serious Accidents 2017