More than one quarter of Satnav users admit to following instructions which take them down unsuitable country lanes even if they think they are being sent the wrong way.

Ian Jewitt of NFU Mutual risk management services, said there was an “alarming lack of knowledge” about the hazards of rural roads. It is particularly worrying that they “continue to follow the gadget’s instructions when their eyes tell them they are heading up a farm track”.

The increase in lost vehicles increased the chance of accidents and traffic congestion along rural roads, which the survey showed 11% of women and 7% of men believe to be the safest roads to drive on.

The survey revealed:

  • 35% do not slow down on rural roads
  • 15% of drivers between 18 to 24 years old drive faster on rural roads
  • 8% of men and 4% of women drive faster on rural roads
  • 7% of men and 11% of women think rural roads are the safest to drive on

The survey also revealed that 6% of the 2,550 asked speed up in rural lanes, despite recent Government statistics showing that car users are three times more likely to die on them than on urban roads.

Mr Jewitt said an “alarming number” of serious accidents involved farm and urban vehicles. He blamed drivers lack of knowledge and “impatience to overtake” on such incidents.