If you judge the average motorhome driver solely on how much experience they’ve had behind the wheel, they should be some of the UK’s best, mainly because of all the practice they have had on various types of roads. The majority can also reverse into the tightest of corners and learn to control the vehicle in all kinds of conditions.
So why, with all this experience under their seatbelt, are they almost 40% more likely to have a serious collision on country roads than their relatively inexperienced counterparts? It’s a question that troubles motorhome insurance firms who pay out thousands of pounds each year after accidents on country lanes. Experienced mobile home owners will be used to all of the blind bends, dips, steep hills, farm animals, farm vehicles, fallen trees, single-lane roads, high-speed limits, mud and debris and yet the accidents still occur. In rural areas almost 26% of accidents happen on a country lane, at night, in the proximity of a bend in the road.
Motorhome owners and insurers would both like to see driving lessons and the driving test include rural roads. According to IAM research, 82% of rural fatal and serious casualties occur on single-carriageway roads, but despite this fact the driving test still does not specifically address rural roads.
In an ideal world, all new drivers should to be taught how to drive on rural roads before they qualify. The speeds are higher, the need to assess bends and surface conditions is higher, and the consequences are often higher too. However, while the roads undoubtedly play a part in the statistics, recent research implies that the roads themselves are not always the problem. Drivers pass their driving test with their hands and feet, but they crash with their minds.
Motorhome owners also would like more bans handed out to those who break the rules on rural roads. Last year more than one million people attended speed awareness courses rather than be convicted of speeding. This is a significant amount of drivers (2.7% of the total driving population) who currently represent an unknown risk to insurers. A recent survey of 942 drivers carried out by road safety charity Brake revealed that 47% admitted speeding at more than 60 miles per hour to overtake on rural roads, while 23% confess they do this at least once a week. All of this is not good news for mobile home owners who just want to explore rural areas without having to make an unwanted insurance claim.