Highways England has launched a safety campaign urging drivers to slow down when it’s raining, after almost 3,000 people were killed or seriously injured when driving in the rain last year.
The campaign, ‘when it rains, it kills’, was developed after recent statistics showed that people are 30 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured on the roads in rain than in snow.
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.
Highways England is warning that 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 the message is being reinforced with rain-activated paint messages visible to people leaving motorway services when it is raining.
A new road safety video has also been produced, directed by award-winning photographer Nadav Kander, which shows rain falling inside the home of a family imagined to have been involved in a serious road collision.
Highways England’s Head of Road Safety, Richard Leonard, said: “Most of us already slow down in snow, ice or fog but when it rains we consider it normal so don’t adapt our driving.
“The sad fact is that 2,918 people were killed or seriously injured on the roads when it was raining last year, and not slowing down to suit the current conditions was identified as a factor in 1 in 9 of all road deaths.
“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.”
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.
Main image: Still taken from Highways England ‘When it rains it kills’ campaign