Motorists are being urged to slow down during the wet weather after five people were killed in Cheshire last year.
Highways England has launched a new safety campaign 'when it rains it kills' warning motorists of the dangers of driving in the rain and snow following the number of deaths and accidents last year.
Latest statistics reveal that people are 30 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured on the roads in rain than in snow.
Last year, more than 50 motorists in Cheshire were left seriously injured in the rain.
Travelling too fast for the conditions was also identified in a factor in one in nine road deaths across the UK.
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.
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 in Great Britain when it was raining last year, and not slowing down to suit the current conditions was identified as a factor in one in nine 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 is understood that on a wet road, it generally takes at least twice as long to stop as on a dry road due to the lack of grip on the surface.
During wet weather, Highways England are advising drivers to:
– 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.
By 2020, Highways England is aiming to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on England’s motorways and major A roads by 40% through road improvements and safety campaigns.