Motorhome owners who are planning a trip to see all of the gorgeous scenery that Scotland has to offer need to be careful because accidents on rural roads are more common than most people think.
In fact more accidents occur on rural roads than in urban areas north of the border and research shows that 79% of serious casualties are on single carriageway roads compared with just 21% on motorways and dual carriageway roads. Furthermore, when compared to roads located near populated areas in Scotland, rural roads are having somewhere in the region of between 70% and 92% more accidents that require hospitalization. It is because of these figures that mobile home owners are being advised to drive carefully and avoid having to claim on their motorhome insurance policy. Over 97% of Scotland’s road network is single carriageway, a much higher proportion than the rest of Great Britain. 30% of all accidents in rural areas involve drivers aged 16 – 29 years of age, despite that age group only representing 18% of the total population of Scotland’s rural drivers.
The winding and hilly nature of many country roads in rural Scotland reduces the distance that drivers can see ahead and experts believe young drivers are simply travelling too fast to negotiate them safely. They say another reason that extra care should be taken on rural roads is because livestock or tractors could be emerging from narrow tracks or field gates. The higher speeds at which traffic normally travels on these roads gives road users much less time to react and results in an increased number of severe impacts. Research has even warned that a small amount of dirt can cause a vehicle to lose its grip. Figures show that mud was responsible for 424 traffic accidents on Scottish roads during 2011.
Another hazard of long rural roads that often catches out drivers is the sudden dips in the road. This can mean that the road ahead may ‘appear’ to be clear and safe to overtake a tractor, but the vehicle approaching is just not visible due to the contours of the land. Many accidents also happen because a driver gets stuck behind a tractor or other slow moving farm vehicle and gets impatient. And it appears that even when the road ahead is clear, motorhome owners still have a problem to contend with as lack of driver stimulation is also thought to contribute to accidents. It has long been associated with motorways, but recent research suggests that it could be the main factor in up to 20% of accidents on non-motorway rural roads.