South Warwickshire insurer looks to put brakes on spiralling rural road deaths - The Stratford Observer

South Warwickshire insurer looks to put brakes on spiralling rural road deaths

Stratford Editorial 5th Dec, 2023   0

THE SPIRALLING number of deaths on rural roads has prompting a call for a action.

South Warwickshire-based rural insurance specialist NFU Mutal is looking to work with public and expert groups to produce a Code for Countryside Roads.

It follows news that drivers and passengers killed in vehicles on rural roads hit a four-year high, increasing by 14 per cent to 1,017 in 2022.

A new report analysing Department for Transport figures revealed 72 per cent more deaths on a rural road than an urban highway.

And more than one in seven people have been involved in an accident on a rural road, and more than one in five admit to being uncomfortable using rural roads

Pedestrian deaths on rural roads also increased with around one walker losing their life every three days in 2022 – an increase of 11 per cent from the year before.

After a spike during lockdown, cycling deaths decreased for the second year in a row, to 46, just one more than the number killed in urban areas.

Horses and their riders are another vulnerable group significantly at risk on rural roads. According to The British Horse Society, 69 horses were killed on the road in 2022 and 139 riders injured, with equine-related road incidents increasing 21 per cent on 2021.

Nick Turner, chief executive of NFU Mutual, said: “Rural roads are not only the arteries of the rural economy, but also the gateway to our countryside and a source of enjoyment for millions.

“Sadly, our analysis shows that, after a few years of decreasing fatalities, rural roads are becoming more deadly again. Over 1,000 people lost their lives on rural roads last year, with thousands more injured.

“Every road death is one too many, and we believe serious conversations need to happen to make rural roads safer for everyone.

“That is why we are announcing a Code for Countryside Roads, which will take in feedback and advice from experts and groups to provide a clear guide to how people should use rural roads.

“We all need to work together to ensure we keep our countryside as safe as it can be.

“We invite members of the public and experts to get in touch with us to feed into the Code for Countryside Roads and hope the document, once published, will help steer a course towards safer rural roads for all road users.”

Members of the public can contact NFU Mutual to provide their views on a Code for Countryside Roads at

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