Low sun, short days, rain, sleet, frost and snow.
All are hazards which add to the danger of driving on country roads in winter.
Even without such additional hazards, rural roads have become scary places to be.
It seems some folk think the 60mph speed limit means you should always drive at 60 whether the road is suitable for such a speed or not. Generally it is not!
Farm vehicles and even farm animals and working dogs are often encountered.
Even country folk like me in my van, driving at a speed more suited to the conditions, often find speeding cars appearing behind me as if out of nowhere.
Those of you who have tried walking, riding or cycling on today’s country roads will know how terrifying the speed of modern traffic can be.
It is as if drivers somehow do not expect to meet anything or anyone as they hurl along.
We are lucky enough to live in an area where wild animals include foxes, badgers and deer.
Even if you do not care about killing such creatures, you must surely care about the extensive damage a fox or badger collision can do to your car?
In the case of deer there is the additional danger that they can appear before you in one bound and are tall enough to come through your windscreen in an accident.
Not only wildlife suffers fatalities on rural roads.
This situation has not been helped by commuter estates tagged onto our towns and villages.
It seems to me we live in a stressed society where everyone is in a rush.
So, here’s a new slogan for the new year.
Out of town, slow down!
By George Hogg
Hogg Estate Services, Wildlife Management