Following Met Office yellow warnings for rain, wind and thunderstorms through today and into Sunday, Highways England is asking drivers in the South West, South East, East and South Midlands to be aware and to drive to the conditions.
According to Highways England, potential thunderstorms and heavy but isolated downpours – possibly hail – could spread through the region and across the South East, East and South Midlands later tonight (Saturday, July 24) and into Sunday.
National network manager Amy Shaw said, “It’s really important for people to adapt their driving in rain.
“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.
“Hail showers on higher ground can also create issues. These can happen with very little warning, resulting in short-lived but treacherous driving conditions.
“We’re encouraging drivers to be aware and to check the latest weather and travel conditions before setting off on journeys.”
In wet weather Highways England advises drivers to:
• 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.
To keep informed about driving conditions during journeys, drivers are advised to follow messages on the overhead signs and to listen to radio updates.
Following the easing of covid restrictions, and the first weekend of the school holidays, traffic levels are expected to be high and Highways England is also asking people to be prepared for any long journeys.