Don’t take unnecessary risks. Profit from the experience of others. The proverb can be better understood if the ‘beaten road’ would read ‘beaten track’ or ‘well-worn path’. It is safer to keep to such a path leading through the woods, however much it winds, than to leave it and try to find a more direct route. The path is well worn and many people must have passed that way, so it is safe for us to do the same.