19 deaths on Devon’s rural roads last year

Posted on: 2 November 2015

Figures from the Department for Transport reveal that out of all the highways in Devon  rural roads carry the highest number of fatalities – with 83 per cent of the 23 deaths in 2014 occurring on Devon’s rural network.

Last year there were 1668 casualties on Devon’s rural roads – 19 of who lost their lives – and 1132 rural collisions in Devon in 2014, with 191 serious injuries.

A rural road could be any class of road away from main areas of population that may join towns and villages.

Although rural roads include the county’s extensive network of narrow country lanes, most rural road collisions in Devon occur on faster, wider carriageways in open country.

Since 2010, 102 people have died on Devon’s rural roads, and a third of those fatalities happened on bends.

Now, a new THINK! campaign encourages Devon’s drivers to slow down, to anticipate hazards and brake before the bend, not on it.

Across the whole of the South West a fifth (21 per cent) admit to braking too late on bends and nearly half (45 per cent) claimed to have swerved to avoid something in the road.

The problem is most acute among young drivers, with a third confessing to braking too late before a bend and more than one in ten admitting to ‘taking the racing line’ by crossing into the opposite side of the road to take a turn faster.

Young drivers are also the most likely age group to overtake on a bend without a clear road ahead.

It is therefore no surprise that young people – including car passengers – are most likely to be injured in rural collisions

Councillor Stuart Hughes Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation said:
“Devon’s rural roads account for the majority of fatal crashes in Devon.
“Even if you think you know a road like the back of your hand, you can never be sure what’s round the corner.
“So let’s keep our rural roads safe for everyone too. Please take care, and keep your speed down.”

For more information is available on the council’s website.

Posted in: DCC Homepage