DRIVERS in Cumnock and Doon Valley are being warned to take care on country roads this winter.

After figures revealed that there was a 23 per cent rise in deaths on rural roads in Scotland last year, insurer NFU Mutual has issued a list of top tips for keeping safe on rural roads.

These include planning your journey thoroughly, sticking to the speed limits and keeping windscreens, windows and mirrors clear.

NFU Mutual want motorists to adapt their driving to be able to drive safely in the colder days and darker nights.

Martin Malone, manager for NFU Mutual in Scotland said: “While the decrease in road fatalities in urban areas is welcome news, we are deeply concerned by the rise in deaths on our Scottish rural roads.

“Modern vehicles tend to insulate drivers from harsh conditions outside – but sophisticated braking systems won’t prevent a skid on an untreated road. 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, horses, or a walker round the next corner and every year we deal with claims resulting from serious accidents involving farm vehicles.”

For more tips on rural driving visit