With rain an ever present haunt of Great British weather, leading UK car leasing company Select Car Leasing has released exclusive new data identifying the places where you are most likely to crash in the wet.
And the findings put the Welsh principal area of Ceredigion as top of the list.
The boffins at Select have crunched the numbers to discover that Ceredigion, which includes the university towns of Aberystwyth and Lampeter, beat the central London hub with 99 accidents per 100,000 population in 2018.
Westminster registered 93 in the same time frame, while Powys in Wales came in a close third (91). In Scotland the region of Argyll and Bute (89) easily topped the charts.
The findings were released on national Road Safety Week, which is organised by charity Brake and this year has the motto ‘No Need to Speed’.
England revealed as the crash hotspot amongst the home nations
The data shows the total number of accidents on wet or flooded roads in England in 2018 was 25,034 – translating as 44 per 100,000 population.
In Wales the figure was 1,245 (29 per 100,000) and in Scotland there were 2,071 accidents in wet conditions in 2018, or 38 per population.
The London boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham – both 76 accidents per 100,000 population – plus Lambeth (68) were also in the top 10.
The city region of Kingston upon Hull (75) and Lincolnshire (67) also featured high up on the list.
Mark Tongue, Company Director of Select Car Leasing said: “At this time of year people are often driving in rain or on roads that have been recently drenched by an autumnal downpour.
“So it’s very worrying to see such high numbers of accidents taking place in these conditions.
“With the next few months set to provide us with further rain, and even flooding in some parts of the country, that could be even more cause for concern.
“It means people have to be fully aware of the circumstances they are in and change their driving behaviour accordingly.
“The main advice for any motorist encountering wet roads is to slow down, avoid sudden braking and if the conditions become too bad, pull over and wait for them to improve.
“This is particularly pertinent on motorways, where many drivers appear to feel it is their right to maintain speeds of 70mph or even higher whatever the weather and therefore road conditions.”
Last month the M5 saw a number of crashes as Storm Barbara dumped a month’s worth of precipitation on the tarmac in a matter of hours.
Avon and Somerset Police issued a warning via Twitter, saying: “With the wet weather across the force today, we have several calls coming in reporting Road traffic collisions and road related incidents. Take extra care when driving in these conditions.”
The data analysed by Select Car Leasing showed six of the top 10 areas for England are within Greater London, with Camden (65) and Southwark (63) making up the numbers.
In Wales, Ceredigion and Powys were followed by Carmarthenshire – 73 accidents per 100,000 population – Gwynedd (57) and Pembrokeshire (56).
The figures for Scotland for 2018 put West Lothian (61), Glasgow City (50), East Ayrshire (50) and the Highlands (50) in the top five.
Bracknell emerges as having Britain’s safest wet roads
The Select Car Leasing experts also calculated the safest places to drive in wet conditions.
In England these were the Bracknell Forest in Berkshire – with just 12 crashes per 100,000 people in 2018 – Hartlepool (16), Redcar and Cleveland (17), Stockport (18) and Stockton-on-Tees (20).
The Orkney Islands (13), Clackmannanshire (14), Aberdeen (14), Dundee (16) and Moray (18) were in the Scottish top five safe zones. While in Wales, Torfaen (14), Cardiff (22), Blaenau Gwent (23), Anglesey (27) and Newport (28) were the safest per population.
Light at the end of the crash tunnel
There could be some light at the end of the tunnel in the fact the total number of accidents on wet or flooded roads in England in 2018 continued a downward trend from the previous four years.
It was 13 per cent lower than the 2017 figure of 28,799, and extended the dip from 29,985 in 2016, 31,418 in 2015 and 36,740 accidents in 2014.
Mark Tongue added: “This could be down to the improvement in technology, with features such as anti-lock braking and traction control becoming more common across all makes and models.
“There is also a school of thought that smart motorways may have played a part in this downward trend, with more drivers being forced to stay under the limit if they want to avoid prosecution.
“But the numbers in absolute terms are still far too high and the main message remains: slow down and be aware of the road conditions.”
Select Car Leasing mapped crash and accident data across Great Britain in a groundbreaking new study. To see how many slight, serious and fatal accidents there are in your area, simply visit the map here: https://howsafearemyroads.com/
Number of accidents on wet or flooded roads per 100,000 population in 2018
Top 10 Locations - England
Westminster – 93
Kensington & Chelsea – 76
Hammersmith and Fulham – 76
Kingston upon Hull – 75
Lambeth – 68
Lincolnshire – 67
Camden – 65
Southwark – 63
Surrey – 63
Devon – 62
Top 10 Locations - Wales
Ceredigion – 99
Powys – 91
Carmarthenshire – 73
Gwynedd – 57
Pembrokeshire – 56
Denbighshire – 43
Conwy – 42
Merthyr Tydfil – 40
Rhondda Cynon Taf – 37
Wrexham – 35
Top 10 Locations - Scotland
Argyll & Bute – 89
West Lothian – 61
Glasgow City – 50
East Ayrshire – 50
Highland – 50
Dumfries & Galloway – 48
North Ayrshire – 45
Inverclyde – 44
South Lanarkshire – 42
Falkirk – 42
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