Rutherglen Reformer - - Drivetime Extra - Coun­try road dan­gers

Brake, the road safety char­ity, and Di­rect Line in­sur­ance are urg­ing driv­ers to hang back, slow down and chill out on coun­try roads to avoid tragedies, as a sur­vey re­veals the ex­tent of risky, ag­gres­sive over­tak­ing.

An alarm­ing one in seven driv­ers (14%) re­port that in the past year they have been forced by an­other driver’s over­tak­ing to swerve, pull over or brake to avoid a col­li­sion.

Brake and Di­rect Line’s sur­vey also found that, in the past year:

Four in five driv­ers (80%) have felt en­dan­gered by an over­tak­ing ma­noeu­vre, ei­ther of their own, their driver, or an­other ve­hi­cle.

Al­most all driv­ers (94%) have wit­nessed a risky over­tak­ing ma­noeu­vre, and more than half (53%) see them monthly or more of­ten.

One in five driv­ers (18%) ad­mit they have them­selves over­taken an­other ve­hi­cle when they were not cer­tain if there were any hid­den ve­hi­cles or haz­ards they could have hit dur­ing the ma­noeu­vre.

When it comes to own­ing up to risky over­tak­ing, it was most com­mon among male and young driv­ers, with 21% of men and two in five (39%) 17-24 year olds ad­mit­ting do­ing so when they weren’t sure the road ahead was clear. The fig­ures for speed­ing paint a sim­i­lar pic­ture, with al­most half of male driv­ers (44%) and more than half of young driv­ers (17-24; 56%) do­ing over 60mph on sin­gle car­riage­way coun­try roads, com­pared with less than a third (31%) of women and two in five driv­ers (37%) over­all. This tal­lies with the sta­tis­ti­cal ev­i­dence that young male driv­ers are in­volved in many more crashes than older and fe­male driv­ers[1].

In an­other re­cent Brake and Di­rect Line sur­vey, risky over­tak­ing came fourth on a list of UK driv­ers’ road safety con­cerns, cited by two thirds (66%) of re­spon­dents[2]. Over­tak­ing is a par­tic­u­lar prob­lem on sin­gle car­riage­way coun­try roads, where high speeds and blind bends of­ten make it im­pos­si­ble to be sure the road ahead is clear, cre­at­ing a risk of dev­as­tat­ing head-on col­li­sions. This is one of the rea­sons coun­try roads are, per mile trav­elled, the most danger­ous for all types of road user, ac­count­ing for more than half (52%) of fa­tal crashes on UK roadsw.

Brake is urg­ing all driv­ers to think twice be­fore over­tak­ing on coun­try roads, and only to do so if ab­so­lutely es­sen­tial, for in­stance to over­take an ex­tremely slow mov­ing ve­hi­cle, and only if it can be done on a long, clear stretch and with­out speed­ing. Oth­er­wise, driv­ers should hang back and re­lax.

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