Ahead of the UK half term when millions of Brits will be jumping in their cars to get away with the family, figures highlight just how many motorists are perplexed by the country’s narrow lanes.
The driving experts at LeaseCar.uk have revealed some top tips to negotiate narrow roads in the UK for nervous drivers who may want to steer clear.
Recent research in the motoring sector has revealed that three-in-ten drivers avoid driving on narrow lanes and prefer to take detours even if it adds more miles to their journey.
Negotiating thin rural lanes can be a task for even the most seasoned of drivers, with the biggest reported concerns being the difficulty of navigating around other vehicles and the fear of colliding with another vehicle head on.
Although they attract much less traffic than the motorway network, small country lanes can very often be just as dangerous.
Driving etiquette also causes concern for motorists when posed with the issue of meeting a car head on and not knowing who has right of way.
A spokesman for LeaseCar.uk said: “It is a known fact that driving down narrow lanes can be a nuisance for all motorists, however finding out that drivers would be willing to add 16 miles – that’s more than half a marathon – to their journey just to avoid rural lanes was a big shock to us.
“Very often, countryside beauty spots are only accessible via some of the most narrow roads in the country.
“We want to offer our advice and insight into the best ways to navigate rural thin lanes and offer advice to motorists who may be unsure of how to drive on these roads.”
Take it slow
Drivers are often faced with maximum speed limits of 60 mph on rural country lanes. However, this doesn’t mean it is the recommended speed for these roads, as it is often much safer to go at a slower pace. Motorists should read the road carefully and think about the most appropriate speed limit to be able to stop if faced with any upcoming traffic.
If you have the option to take a smaller car, for example if someone going on your trip drives a smaller motor and is willing to do the drive, always go for the smallest option when anticipating narrow lanes. This will give you more flexibility on the road and give you the power to navigate other cars and narrow corners with much more ease than would be possible in a larger vehicle.
Study the route
If using a navigation app or system, the driver should ensure they have studied the route and can anticipate where some of the most tricky roads will be. This way, drivers can also decide whether they want to negotiate thin, twisting roads or if they will have the opportunity to choose another route, which is very often longer, but can save them from the narrow routes that they may be dreading.
The surface on rural roads can very often be unpredictable due to their surroundings. The frequency of tractors on these types of roads can also lead to a build-up of debris and mud along the road which can cause a slippery surface in wet weather conditions. Drivers should be aware of this and ensure they are aware of any potential hazards ahead.