Direct Line is calling for the speed limit to be reduced to 40mph on rural roads due to the high number of fatalities now occurring on country lanes.

The call follows a recent survey that showed among all road fatalities, 64% take place in rural areas and that one of the main causes of accidents on rural roads is speeding with over a quarter (26 per cent) of rural drivers admitting to exceeding the 60mph limit.

"Rural speeders" gave a number of reasons for exceeding the limit with many worryingly believing that less traffic (38%) and fewer pedestrians (33%) makes speeding safer in the country. Lack of police presence (13%), few speed cameras (14%) and less speed bumps (12%) were also cited as acceptable reasons for drivers to put their foot down.

Speed limit knowledge on rural roads also proves a mystery, with two out of three motorists saying they did not know the speed limits. Over half (51%) say there should be more speed signs on rural roads so motorists are aware of the limit.