Something that is of paramount importance to us at the North Coast 500 is road safety! Whilst we can't do anything about road conditions, we can ensure you are up to date with how best to navigate around these delicate country roads. Here are our top tips to be a good driver on the North Coast 500;
Tip No.1 Use Passing Places!
For those of you who haven't been accustomed to rural living, many of our roads meander in and out of 'single track' which means that there are plenty of passing places that are available to ensure you can pull in, safely, out of the way of incoming traffic. If you are a large vehicle, i.e. large caravan/truck or simply someone taking their time and enjoying the scenery, you may find cars starting to line up behind you. If you do find this is the case, please be courteous and pull in and use these passing places as (there are not many opportunities for over-taking along these roads( as nobody enjoys being frustrated.
Tip No.2 Watch where you stop!
We know more than anyone how beautiful the road is, so you are bound to think, "Wait! Pull over here so I can take a photo!", at least once or twice, but please remember to carefully consider where you pull over as it is not safe nor responsible to pull over in a spot that may affect passing trafic. Always use appropriate parking spaces and remember to not parking in passing places.
Tip No.3 Speed!
Rural roads typically range in speed limits, so please consider each and every one you pass. It is fine to drive to that limit, but please only do so if you feel it is safe. You must always consider whether you are going at the appropriate speed and to quote Motoring Assist, the "golden rule is that you must always be able to stop in the distance you can see to be clear ahead. And on narrow roads where there is no central white line, think about being able to stop in HALF the distance you can see to be clear ahead, simply because if you meet someone coming the other way, you will both need road space to stop safely…and half each is fair!". Also, always drive according to the weather conditions!
Remember, the North Coast 500 is not a race - take your time and enjoy it!
Tip No.4 Share the road...with cyclists and motorcyclists!
There will undoubtedly be many an occasion where you will pass cyclists and motorbikers, and who can blame them? Have you seen how beautiful this road is?! Please remember to consider your handy Highway Code and give them plenty of room when passing and remember to check your mirrors and blind spots for any oncoming bikers!
Tip No.5 Share the road...with animals!
We have already discussed giving way to other vehicles and being mannerly, but remember you will have to share the route with some others too.. namely sheep, Heilan' Coo's, deer and potentially other farm animals. Take heed of any warnings of animals on the roads as we would hate for our poor animals to suffer the brunt of a complacent driver! Remember also to not try and alert them by beeping your horn as this could frighten them and cause an accident!
For more advice please click here to head to Think!
If you have any other tips or advice or your own, please comment below!
If you have any concerns about safety or driving for yourself or others around you, please email NC500@north-highlands.co.uk.