POLICE are encouraging drivers to drive carefully on rural roads to reduce the safety risks for vulnerable road users.

A summer road safety campaign launched by Essex Police reminds drivers of the reasons they should take precautions in rural areas.

Every year, 20 per cent of drink drive related collisions take place on rural roads.

In rural roads, 40 per cent of the collisions result in death or serious injury.

Officers are urging people to keep their passengers and other road users safe by not drinking and driving.

The police have said that speeding is a recognised factor when it comes to collisions therefore reducing speed can prevent error.

A representative from Essex Police said: “Speeding along any road is illegal, but country roads pose more of a problem with bends that makes seeing what’s up ahead difficult or impossible.

“We’d advise you to slow down on your approach, giving yourself extra time to see what lies ahead.”

The police have reminded road users of the hierarchy of the road which protects the most vulnerable.

A representative said: “With the introduction of the Hierarchy of Road Users this year, pedestrians, two-wheel vehicles and horses are placed at the top, showing they are more vulnerable.

“Watch out for people enjoying a country walk, a rider exercising a horse or a cyclist taking in the views.

“Please overtake carefully, giving them plenty of room.”

The campaign highlights to importance of respecting animals and fields used for business.

A representative said: “Of course, the welfare of animals are at the heart of our rural communities. At certain times of the year, you can find farmers moving animals between fields.

“Please consider their safety too; if an animal is spooked, it could behave in an unpredictable way.

“Stay on the road and off fields. Farms are private land and run for business.

“Stopping to have a picnic, ride an e-scooter or parking up in a field could damage crops and affect the farmer’s livelihood.

“If you want to do similar activities, make sure you have the farmer’s permission beforehand.”