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Drivers urged to slow down as stats show rain is more dangerous than snow

Drivers are being reminded to slow down when it rains in a new campaign being supported by the Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership.

Highways England launched the road safety campaign after the latest statistics showed that people are 30 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured on the roads in rain than in snow.

The figures also reveal that travelling too fast for the current conditions was identified as a factor in 1 in 9 road deaths in Great Britain last year, with drivers failing to alter how they drive in response to changing conditions on the road.

The Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership is now warning drivers of the dangers of driving in wet weather and offering some simple advice to follow. The campaign also includes a new road safety video.

Speaking on behalf of the partnership, Mark Deaville, Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways at Staffordshire County Council explained that keeping Staffordshire’s roads safe remained a top priority for the county and their roads continue to be amongst the safest in the country.

Mark said: “Unfortunately there are still too many people who drive too fast when it’s raining, so we want to get the message out to be aware of the dangers, to slow down and stay safe.

It generally takes at least twice as long to stop on a wet road as on a dry road because tyres have less grip on the surface. And, even driving within the speed limit in wet weather, could be dangerous if drivers don’t allow extra space between them and the vehicle in front. And with darker evenings and wintery weather upon us too, people really need to drive to the conditions and that means slowing down.”

In total, 197 people lost their lives on roads during rainfall in Great Britain last year and 2,721 suffered a serious injury, compared to 14 deaths and 153 serious injuries during fog, and 2 deaths and 95 serious injuries during snow.

The campaign is now reminding drivers to follow the below advice.  In wet weather people should:

  • Slow down if the rain and spray from vehicles is making it difficult to see and be seen.
  • Keep well back from the vehicle in front as this will increase your ability to see and plan ahead.
  • Ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually if the steering becomes unresponsive as it probably means that water is preventing the tyres from gripping the road.

Further advice on safer driving is available at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/transport/roadsafety/winterdriving