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Drivers urged to take extra care in heavy rain

Drivers who have to travel are being urged to take extra care on motorways and major A roads overnight and until Thursday (21 January) due to heavy rain.

The Met Office has issued an amber warning across parts of Yorkshire & Humber, East Midlands, East of England and North West England, in response to a forecast of heavy rain, which comes into force from 6am tomorrow (19 January) until midday Thursday (21 January).

Highways England is urging drivers to be prepared before setting out on essential journeys, with Met Office reporting rain will be heaviest and most persistent across western facing hills and across higher ground.

Jeremy Phillips, Head of Road User 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.  

“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’re encouraging drivers to check the latest weather and travel conditions before setting off on journeys, with heavy rain expected over the coming days.” 

In wet weather you should: 

•           Slow down if the rain and spray from vehicles is making it difficult to see and be seen and remember that stopping distances will be at least double in wet weather, because your tyres will have less grip on the road.  

•           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 advising drivers to pay attention to messages on the overhead electronic signs and listen for radio updates. Further information can be found by visiting www.trafficengland.com, following @highwaysnwest @highwaysneast @highwaysyorks @highwaysemids @highwayseast on Twitter or calling the Highways England Information Line on 0300 123 5000. The latest weather forecast can be seen online at www.metoffice.gov.uk 

More advice here: Rain driving tips HE Met Office RAC.mp4

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