Road safety charity the IAM is offering weekly motoring tips from Britain's top advanced driver, Peter Rodger. This week, with National Drive It day coming this weekend, encouraging people to take to the roads for an enjoyable drive, he is advising on driving in the countryside.
- Always ensure you can stop within the distance you can see to be clear on your own side of the road. This will mean you probably need to significantly reduce your speed when approaching bends. Accelerate only when you can see enough clear road.
- Be aware that vulnerable road users including cyclists and horses are more likely to use these roads, and give them plenty of space when you do come across them.
- Rural roads can be very winding. Use the line of hedges, trees or telegraph poles as a guide to help see which direction the road goes in well ahead.
- Drive with extra care past apparently isolated houses and buildings, in case people or vehicles are around.
- Mud on the road may mean that farm vehicles and animals will be moving around. Look out for them emerging from field entrances and expect them around bends and over brows.
- Don't swerve uncontrollably if a small animal like a rabbit darts out in front of you. It's better to have a broken fog light or a dented bumper than the loss of control or a serious accident.
IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger said: "Driving on rural roads requires different skills than driving on urban roads. The unexpected hazards, twisty roads and high speed limits make rural roads tricky, so take extra care and adjust your speed to match how far down the road you can see. A skilful drive on a country road can be an especially enjoyable one – it's worth the effort."