The Scottish Government have loosened lockdown restrictions, allowing us to travel to the country and up north once again for well-deserved mini breaks. However, especially on country roads, Road Safety Scotland advises you to drive like your Gran is in the car. To drive safely and mindful of the unexpected.
60% of all Scottish road traffic accidents occur on country roads, highlighting that drivers are often unaware of the potential risks. Country roads are more dangerous than motorways because of the sharp turns and unexpected obstacles. Watermans have put together some advice on how to stay safe on your next road trip.
What are the risks of country roads?
- Potential hazards such as fallen trees and animals on the road can cause you to break suddenly. Furthermore, tall bushes, overgrown woodland, and even the picturesque scenery can also obstruct your view of the road. This means that you might not be able to see what is coming ahead of you. By reducing your speed limit, you will have more time to react to hazards and avoid any potential accidents.
- As opposed to the city, the countryside provides less lighting for drivers at night. It takes increased care and skill to drive these routes, especially in the dark.
- The roads are less maintained than in the city. So, watch out for potholes and muddy or slippery roads after rainfall or snow. If you are driving too fast, you will be more at risk of losing control of your vehicle.
- Tractors, cyclists, horse riders, and other vehicles can also present a danger to drivers. Only overtake when it is safe to do so and try to give horses and cyclists plenty of space at a reduced speed.
Why are drivers more at risk on country roads?
Some drivers are unfamiliar with the route that they are taking. Although this may make some drivers more careful, others are less so. Country roads usually allow for higher speed limits and since they are unlikely to be caught by the police, they speed. Even if you are familiar with these roads, don’t drive by memory and be prepared for the unanticipated. Wildlife can jump out at any time and collisions are most common at blind turns and single lane roads.
A client of ours collided with a tractor that failed to slow down at a tight corner. As a result, our client was injured, and his car was a total loss. Our personal injury solicitors pursued a full liability claim against the driver of the tractor and successfully won our client compensation. In the event of a road traffic accident, at Watermans Solicitors, we will find you a like for like car replacement as your one is being repaired. If required, we may be able to arrange for treatment for your injuries such as CBT or physiotherapy.
Tips for driving on country roads:
- Watch your speed and reduce your speed on bends and hairpins.
- Wear your seatbelt, it might just save your life.
- Avoid distractions, such as your phone or sat nav. To operate these, safely pull over to the side and park.
- Be vigilant when driving
- Prepare for the unexpected, no matter how well you know the route.
By staying alert whilst driving the winding country roads of the Scottish Highlands, you will significantly reduce the risk of being involved in a road traffic accident. Additionally, you’re almost guaranteed a fantastic minibreak!
In the unfortunate event that you are involved in a collision on a country road, contact the Watermans Solicitors Personal Injury team to see if you can make a claim for any injuries or damages you may have incurred. Call 0131 555 7055 or 0141 430 7055