it's is neither safe nor easy to drive in peru. Many consider driving an "extreme sport" in pru. go to youtube and search "peru driving" for some crazy traffic in the cities. It's not much safer on rural roads. Peru registers 30 deaths per 100,000 vehicles, the USA registers one, Germany two, and Latin America generally five.
You can hire a car with a driver for a pretty reasonable cost, and let someone else do the worrying/take the blame, but it can be hair-raising even as a passenger.
Some foreign governments (like mine) recommend drivers should not travel alone on rural roads even in daylight and that convoy travel is preferable. They also warn about poor road conditions and even worse driver behaviour. about 7 years ago
I would not recommend driving in Peru either. The good news is though that they have a great public/private transport network, with buses that go everywhere and have extremely comfortable chairs, perfect for the long trips and microbuses for shorter journeys. The microbuses are an adventure in themselves and very cheap, but you have to get used to being crammed in. In my opinion they are safer then cabs, as long as you beware of pick-pockets like anyway. The best bus company they we ended up using almost all the time was Cruz del Sur. They were safe, reliable, had the comfortable chairs, and were still reasonably priced.
Another reason I don't recommend driving is that you then might think it is safe to camp as well. When we lived there the weekend of the tsunami in Japan a bunch of tourists camping alone on the beach were robbed and a young woman was raped. I definitely don't recommend camping along the coast in Peru unless there are many other camping groups nearby. about 5 years ago