What you need to know about April Showers and Driving in Wet Conditions
A new study of UK road accident data* by Teletrac Navman indicates that drivers should take more care on wet road surfaces when the weather is fine.
This is a timely reminder with April showers upon us and the UK entering a period known for unpredictable weather patterns and heavy downpours of rain.
DRIVE WITH CARE (RAIN or SHINE)
Accident severity is 40% higher when driving on a wet road surface when the weather is fine Vs. when it is raining (based on fatal accident rates).
As we enter the period known for short periods of heavy rainfall drivers should be mindful of road surface conditions, as well as weather conditions and adjust driving style accordingly.
The most dangerous road type when driving on wet/damp roads in clear weather conditions is a single carriageway, where 1 in 4 accidents are serious or fatal (25.4%).
An accident in these conditions on a single carriageway is 23% more likely to be serious or fatal than the average across other road types.
The most dangerous lighting conditions when driving on wet/damp roads, in fine weather is darkness without lighting, where 32% (more than 1 in 4) accidents are serious or fatal.
An accident in these conditions is 48% more likely to be serious or fatal than the average across other lighting conditions.
URBAN Vs RURAL
Accident severity rate is higher on rural roads with 27% of accidents being serious or fatal when the road surface is wet/damp and the weather is fine.
An accident on a rural road is 20% more likely to be serious or fatal when the road is wet/damp and the weather is fine.
SAFETY TIPS FOR DRIVING IN WET CONDITIONS
- ADJUST YOUR SPEED Sustain lower speeds when road surfaces are wet even if it isn’t raining. This will give you more time to react with longer stopping distances
- INCREASE YOUR DISTANCE Stopping distances are strongly related to the road surface conditions so it is important to sustain a large stopping distance even if the rain has stopped.
- TYRE TREAD Check that your tyre tread is above legal levels and aim to keep them above 3mm. This will help you maintain traction on wet road surfaces.
- WIPER BLADES & WASHER FLUID When driving on wet road surfaces surrounding vehicle spray will affect your visibility, having wipers that are in good condition and washer fluid is key to sustaining good visibility.
- USE OF LIGHTS When driving on wet road surfaces you want to be seen and keep visibility, but you also don’t want to dazzle other road users. With the road being highly reflective use your dipped beam and refrain from using full beam or fog lights