Rural roads have been named as the most dangerous in the UK, sparking the launch of a road safety campaign by Think! with the aim of encouraging drivers to better anticipate potential hazards and to brake before bends on country lanes.

Latest figures from the Department for Transport show that 1,040 people were killed and 9,051 were seriously injured on rural roads during 2014. More than a third of deaths on rural roads occurred on a bend.

According to Think!, 60% of all fatalities occur on country roads, and, on average, three people die on rural roads each day. A survey of 2,000 motorists in England and Wales found that 23% of people admit to braking too late on bends and 41% have swerved to avoid something in the road.

Helen Williams, a senior road accident solicitor based in Thompsons Solicitors’ Bristol office, said: “The number of people killed on country roads last year is shocking. To consider that three people will potentially die on a country road today is a sobering and truly tragic statistic.

“Sharp bends, animals in the road and slow moving vehicles are just some of the hazards posed by country roads and we would hope that the campaign from Think! will help to educate drivers about the dangers presented by country roads.

“Any death on our roads is one too many and better education for drivers of all ages, along with investment in road infrastructure improvements, are vital if we are to see a reduction in tragic road deaths.”