Rural Roads

Rural Roads

Key Facts:

  • Rural roads in the UK are defined as major and minor roads outside urban areas that have a population of less than 10,000 (RRCGB, DfT, 2016).

  • Most accidents in the UK occur within urban areas; however, a greater number of fatal accidents occur in rural areas. (RRCGB, DfT, 2016).

  • While accidents on rural roads accounted for 34% of all traffic accidents in 2015, they accounted for 64% of user fatalities (RRCGB, DfT, 2016).

  • The proportion of accidents and fatalities occurring on rural roads was fairly consistent for different vehicle types in 2015 (e.g. 31% of all motorcycling accidents and 66% of fatal motorcycling accident occurred on rural roads; 35% of all car accidents and 68% of fatal car accidents occurred on rural road; 40% of accidents involving vans and LGVs and 65% of all fatal accidents involving this vehicle type occurred on rural roads). (RRCGB, DfT, 2016).

  • In Lincolnshire, reductions from the National Speed Limit to 50mph on certain high-risk routes resulted in a 76% reduction in KSI collisions and an overall 35% reduction in collisions (DfT, 2010).

  • The removal of vegetation in verges can increase sightlines and be associated with an increase in both vehicle speeds and collisions (DfT, 2010).

  • Rear facing average speed cameras and/or the use of Variable Message Signs (VMS) can be associated with significant reductions in contraventions of the speed limit (DfT, 2010).

  • Crash frequency and severity increases when the verge lateral clearance width (hard shoulder or clear verge width) decreases (Peng, Geedipally & Lord, 2012).

  • The oldest and youngest drivers, and drivers from rural areas, are at particularly high risk on rural roads (Thompson, Baldock, Mathias & Wundersitz, 2010; Fosdick, 2012).

  • Although slow moving vehicles are rare, accidents involving them tend to be high in severity (Hawkins, Kinzenbau & Hallmark, 2009).

  • Many rural accidents involve overtaking. Where there is demand for overtaking, overtaking lanes can facilitate safer overtaking and yield significant safety improvements. A small minority of drivers continue to overtake when prohibitions are introduced (Hegeman, 2004; Tuovinen & Enberg, 2003; Weber & Jahrig, 2010).

  • The proximity of a hospital and the emergency service response time can be a critical factor determining the severity of the outcome and the survivability of an accident, which has obvious relevance to rural roads given their greater likelihood of being in remote locations (National Safety Council, 2008; Prato, Rasmussen & Kaplan, 2014).

  • The development and implementation of eCall technology in vehicles could significantly reduce the fatality rates on rural roads (European Transport Safety Council, 2013).

  • Date Added: 03 Apr 2012, 08:04 AM
  • Last Update: 30 Jan 2017, 12:41 PM