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Legal guide to UK motoring, sections for law enforcement, Driver licensing, learner and new drivers, buying and selling, speeding fines, owning a vehicle, wheel clamping, traffic information.

Safer Driving


Country Roads

Country roads seem like the best place to be able to put your foot down. The lack of traffic compared to the city makes a country lane seem tempting and easier than a busy road, this is not the case however. A country lane can be much more demanding as a driver than the town drive.
The main problem with country lanes is lack of view of the road ahead. The method is to really expect the unexpected. The road ahead is often unsighted and after the next blind bend could be another bend or a tractor doing 2 miles per hour. You will have to be able to stop quickly if there is and you will not be able to achieve this if you are driving to quickly. Also watch out for mud on the roads. Tractor pull out of fields where this are no normal junctions so there will be no warning. Suddenly the road surface could become slippery and dangerous.

• Drive slowly and keep to the speed limit. Driving at 20mph on a dry road, your car has a stopping distance of 3 car lengths. On a wet or muddy road that distance doubles.
• Don't drive too close to farm vehicles. Give them room for their manouvres and remember that if you wish to overtake them then driving to close will impair your view. The more distance between you and them, the more vision of the road ahead you will get.
• Beware of livestock. Unfortunately cows and sheep cannot read and are prone to walking out into the road. Also farmers sometimes need to move a whole herd from one field to another. If you are caught like this turn off your engine and wait patiently for the cattle to pass and only then drive on.
• Keep an eye out for warning sign as these will give you advance warning of any hazards ahead.
• In the evening at the first failure of light turn on your headlights. This will give other drivers warning of your presence and vice versa. Make use of safety devices such as chevrons, cats eyes and warning signs.

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