Experts demand introduction of new rural driving laws as road deaths surge

New rural driving laws will soon be pushed by experts in a bid to dramatically reduce deaths on UK roads.

The leading rural insurer, NFU Mutual, will put together a ‘Code for Countryside Roads’ with a focus on a series of five key areas.

The latest crackdown comes after official figures show that rural fatalities have soared to a five-year high.

A staggering 1,017 people lost their lives on rural roads in 2022, a staggering 14 percent rise on the year before.

The disparity between rural and urban routes is also up with 72 percent more road fatalities.

According to the data, crashes taking place on rural roads are around four times more likely to result in death.

Nick Turner, Chief Executive of NFU Mutual explained: “Rural roads are not only the arteries of the rural economy, but also the gateway to our countryside and a source of enjoyment for millions.

“Sadly, our analysis shows that, after a few years of decreasing fatalities, rural roads are becoming more deadly again.”

NFU Mutual is now set to respond as they set out plans for a new code of conduct to protect motorists.

Claims experts at NFU Mutual have identified five key areas which contribute towards accidents on rural roads with these issues less severe in built-up areas.

The new Code will focus on vehicles travelling at high speeds resulting in head-on collisions. There will also be a look at cars losing control at tight corners, often due to excessive speed.

Unmarked junctions or hidden entrances will also be analysed while weather conditions and icy roads will be studied.

There is also increased traffic from rural companies as collisions between agricultural vehicles rise by 52 percent in the summer.

The public and motoring experts have been urged to get in touch with NFU Mutual to help put together a new Code for Countryside Roads.

Once published, they hope the report will steer the Government towards the implementation of safer standards on rural routes.

Mr Turner added: “Over 1,000 people lost their lives on rural roads last year, with thousands more injured. Every road death is one too many, and we believe serious conversations need to happen to make rural roads safer for everyone.

“That is why we are today announcing a Code for Countryside Roads, which will take in feedback and advice from experts and groups to provide a clear guide to how people should use rural roads. We all need to work together to ensure we keep our countryside as safe as it can be.”


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