Caution Mud on road sign

Preventing accidents caused by mud on the roads

Pat Phillips, Claims Technician for South West insurer Cornish Mutual, reflects on the risks of increased wet weather and mud on roads.

Every autumn, there is an increase in motor accidents as a result of runoff from fields or farm vehicles carrying mud on their tyres. If mud is left to build up, it can become engrained in the road surface and become dangerously slippery, particularly for motorcyclists.  

If an accident is caused by a landowner or farmer failing to clean up mud from their field, even with the appropriate public liability insurance, they could face criminal prosecution. To help prevent accidents and fulfil their legal obligations, we remind our Members to take preventative steps:

  • If you are planning activity that is likely to result in mud going on to the roads, put up the recommended signage to warn fellow road users
  • Drive farm vehicles at lower speeds to reduce the spread of mud
  • Check the roads periodically and schedule a full clean-up at the end of the day
  • Some farmers use contour ploughing to reduce runoff. If the land is too hilly, leaving a border or ditch around a field of crops can be a good alternative
  • If you employ contractors to carry out clean-ups, make sure you are confident they will do a good job as the ultimate responsibility falls to you as the landowner
  • Keep good records of which fields you are using and when you have carried out any clean-ups


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