Drivers admit to taking 25-minute detours just to avoid country lanes

Research suggests city drivers are more likely to find narrow roads ‘stressful’.

Volvo V40
Volvo V40

Motorists have admitted to being so worried about driving on narrow country lanes that some are willing to take a 25-minute detour just to avoid them.

Three-in-10 drivers have said they deliberately steer clear of country roads, with 58 per cent saying they find them stressful.

This number jumps to 76 per cent for those who live in the city, with the difficulty of squeezing past other cars (62 per cent) and the fear of a head-on collision (61 per cent) being the top causes of worry.

Vauxhall Insignia
(Vauxhall)

Other causes of stress that came from the survey of 2,000 UK drivers on behalf of the RAC and Ageas Insurance, include having to reverse back to find a passing place (45 per cent), meeting a tractor and not being able to pass (44 per cent) and deciding who lets who pass (37 per cent).

Incredibly, these worries lead many drivers to take massive detours. On average, motorists are willing to make a 16-mile or 25-minute detour just to avoid country lanes.

City-based drivers would be willing to add an average of 23 miles or 30 minutes to their trips, 14 miles and 10 minutes more than rural drivers.

Simon Williams, spokesman for RAC Breakdown, said: “With unprecedented numbers of drivers on the UK’s roads this summer, more and more people will find themselves squeezing down narrow country lanes to reach beaches and popular countryside spots.

“For any driver less confident with tackling rural lanes the message has to be to plan a journey properly before setting out, and drive at the right speed according to the nature of the road, even if the official limit is 60mph.”

Robin Challand, claims director at Ageas Insurance, said: “Negotiating narrow rural lanes can be tricky, even for the most seasoned of drivers, but by following some simple tips and staying calm, you can avoid adding a damaged car to your list of things to get stressed about this summer.”

Advice for motorists includes not being tempted to follow sat navs on detours to shave a few minutes off your journey, plan your route ahead of time, and get some practice on narrow roads closer to home.

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