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WATCH: Yorkshire drivers warned 'when it rains, it kills'

WATCH: Yorkshire drivers warned 'when it rains, it kills'

Published at 6:01am 29th November 2016. (Updated at 1:50pm 29th November 2016)

Drivers are being urged to slow down during wet weather, after 15 people were killed and 210 were seriously injured in Yorkshire and the Humber when driving in the rain last year.

To highlight the message, Highways England is launching a new safety campaign warning that 'when it rains, it kills'.

According to the latest figures, 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, with drivers failing to alter how they drive in response to changing conditions.

In Harrogate and Craven, there were 22 serious injuries on the roads during rain last year.

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.

The message is being reinforced with rain-activated paint messages visible to people leaving motorway services when it's raining.

Watch the safety campaign's hard-hitting video:

 

Richard Leonard, Head of Road Safety at Highways England, 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 in Great Britain 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.

In wet weather, you 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.

Highways England is aiming to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on motorways and major A roads by 40% by 2020 through road improvements, safety campaigns and other initiatives.