A RURAL insurance firm is warning drivers to take care on country roads in cold conditions and dark nights.

More than half of fatalities in 2016 happened on rural roads, leading NFU Mutual to urge motorists to be aware of slow-moving farm vehicles and vulnerable road users such as horse riders, walkers and cyclists.

Tim Price, Rural Affairs Specialist at NFU Mutual, said drivers sometimes fail to appreciate the hazards of driving in the countryside.

He said: “Modern vehicles tend to insulate drivers from harsh conditions outside – but sophisticated braking systems won’t prevent a skid on an untreated road after a frost. Many rural roads aren’t gritted after a frost or snowfall so it’s vital to stay alert and adjust speed according to weather conditions.

“In the countryside, you never know if there will be a tractor, horse, or a walker round the next corner and every year NFU Mutual deals with claims resulting from serious accidents involving farm vehicles being hit by fast-moving cars, lorries and motorcycles.”