Statistics released by the Department for Transport highlight just how dangerous rural roads can be for complacent drivers.
Figures show that 1070 people were killed in collisions on country lanes last year, compared to 100 who lost their lives on the motorway.
Part of the problem is that too many drivers are lulled into a false sense of security, wrongly believing that they are at far greater risk in built-up areas. This leads them to exceed the speed limit or attempt risky manoeuvres.
Now, the DfT is trying to emphasise the dangers this behaviour poses to the drivers themselves and other road users.
Liz Brooker, the road safety expert leading the campaign, told BBC News: “I think that we can become a little bit complacent on the roads that we know.
“The advice is to brake before you hit a bend so that you can control yourself and anticipate what you can’t see.”
Road safety charity Brake has welcomed attempts to hammer home the dangers of breaking the limit on “quiet” roads.
Their own study, published a couple of months ago, found that a third of motorists were either driving too fast or making reckless decisions when out in the countryside.
Julie Townsend, the charity’s deputy chief executive, said: “The so-called ‘open road’ is a dangerous road, often full of unexpected hazards.
“We are urging drivers to slow down on country roads, staying well within limits and slowing right down for villages, bends, brows and bad weather.”
The awareness campaign has also received backing from British touring car champion James Cole, who, aged 11, was himself hit by a car and badly hurt.
His injuries were so severe that it was a year before he was able to return to school.
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