Drivers warned to take extra caution when it rains

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New campaign launched by Highways England aims to bring awareness to the dangers of driving in the rain

In efforts to urge drivers to use caution on wet roads, Highways England has launched a new safety campaign to educate motorists of the risks of driving in the rain. Using ‘when it rains, it kills’ as a compelling slogan, the campaign argues that driving in the rain is in fact more dangerous than driving in the snow.

What causes accidents on wet roads?

Figures released by Highways England reveal that motorists are 30 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured while driving in the rain than in snow. Furthermore, statistics show that travelling too fast contributed to 1 in 9 road deaths in Great Britain last year, stating that many drivers fail to adjust how they respond to changes in road conditions while driving.

The campaign also warns that even driving within the correct speed limit in wet weather may not be enough if motorists don’t allow extra space between their vehicle and the one in front of them.

A road safety video has been produced as well which shows heavy rain falling within the home of a family imagined to have been involved in a serious road collision.

Head of Road Safety for Highways England, Richard Leonard, said, “Rain makes it harder for tyres to grip the road and harder for drivers to see ahead – significantly increasing the chances of being involved in a collision. We’ve launched our new campaign to make drivers aware of the dangers and to stay safe.”

Last year, a total of 197 people were killed in the UK while driving in the rain, with 2,721 suffering a serious injury. This is compared to 14 deaths and 153 injuries in fog and 2 deaths and 95 injuries in the snow.

How to drive safely in the rain

Highways England advises that it typically takes at least twice as long to come to a complete stop on wet roads when compared to dry roads. Since tyres have fewer grips on the road’s surface, they are less effective when slowing down.

Should you get caught up in wet weather while driving remember to keep these tips in mind:

  • Slow down and keep plenty of distance from cars around you
  • Be sure to keep well back from the vehicle in front of you for ample braking room. This will help increase your visibility as well
  • Remember to ease off the accelerator and to gradually slow down if steering becomes difficult or unresponsive – this typically means that water is preventing your car’s tyres from gripping the road

The campaign aims to lower the number of drivers killed or seriously injured on motorways and major A roads by 40% by 2020 through efforts safety campaigns, road improvements and other initiatives.

Keep these helpful tips in mind next time you’re stuck driving in bad weather.

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