Driving isn't always enjoyable. Think about the times you've sat in a traffic queue making five millimetres progress in as many minutes. The frustration, the time wasted and the lack of progress all make driving that much more unpleasant. But making progress is a key part of advanced driving and that doesn't mean going faster. It's going the right speed for the conditions. That's the great thing about driving on rural roads. You can make progress as there are fewer traffic lights, fewer people and fewer cars. So in conjunction with Drive it Day – which is on 21 April 2013 – why not take out the car and rediscover the enjoyment of driving?
Dry roads and lighter evenings are ideal conditions for driving. But there are things that you'll need to remember before you take the road to the countryside. And remember, rural roads aren't hazard free.
Watch out for the unexpected. When you're in the city, seeing horses around is fascinating but their home is the countryside. So, if you see horses ahead, pass wide and slow, and if this means hanging well back until you can overtake, do it.
As well as the horses, horse box drivers will be around. But be patient, they will avoid stopping and leave longer following distances to give their passengers a smoother ride. Don't cut them up.
But it's not just horses you will need to watch out for. Where there are wildlife warning signs, take heed of them. They're there for a reason. And if a deer runs across in front of you, more may well follow – so watch out.
Ease off when approaching field entrances and gateways – you don't know what might be waiting to emerge. Where there are farm vehicles, there is likely to be slippery mud on the road. Be extra vigilant and manage your speed.
Speed limits on rural roads are often much higher than local urban roads. But remember, the national speed limit, 60mph, is a maximum, not a target. You can drive up to that speed. Don't forget, if you're towing a trailer, the maximum speed on rural roads is 50mph.
Rural roads often have overgrown verges, bushes and trees which will block your view. Anticipate the hazards they may pose to you in advance.
Country roads are more fun to drive than long, straight ones, but they are responsible for the majority of fatal and serious accidents. That's why it's important to be aware and consider the impact that different hazards will have on your car. Ask yourself, can you stop in the distance you can see to be clear? If you can, then you're doing it right.