POLICE are advising motorists how to drive safely in wet weather after 16 traffic accidents across Sussex in just 24 hours.

The bank holiday wash-out is thought to be behind some of the accidents but Sussex Police said not all of the crashes could be attributed to the county’s foul weather.

Three of the scrapes involved cars flipping over on to their roofs.

The first happened on the A284 near Arundel at about 2.45pm, where a man escaped from his overturned car before firefighters arrived.

About 20 minutes afterwards, while driving along the A272 Midhurst, a Peugeot 205 struck an embankment and overturned.

The 33-year-old driver, from Petworth, and passenger, a 31-year-old man from Bosham, both had slight injuries and went to St Richard's Hospital in Chichester.

Then, an hour later, a Ford Fiesta driven by a 65-year-old woman left the A23 Crawley Avenue in Crawley and struck a tree before turning on to its roof.

In that incident the driver was seriously hurt and treated by paramedics.

When not flipping over, drivers were crashing into all manner of objects.

In Marley Lane, Battle, a Vauxhall slid on surface water and span into a tree.

The driver, a 36-year-old man, and passenger, a 45-year-old woman, both from Ewhurst Green, were both unhurt but an eight-year-old boy from St Leonards had slight injuries.

A Vauxhall Zafira lost control on a wet B2115 near Haywards Heath and also hit a tree. The driver had slight injuries.

At John's Cross roundabout, near Battle, a Ford Focus lost control and hit railings but the driver and passenger, both 24, were unhurt.

More surprisingly, four people escaped unharmed when their car collided with the central barrier of the M23 near Crawley.

Two accidents saw cars hitting brick walls in Bognor and Chichester while the tight, narrow road of Mill Lane, Sayers Common, saw an unknown vehicle strike and damage a hedge and fence.

In Eastbourne, Lottbridge Drove, a car smashed into a power box for street lighting while on the seafront a vehicle struck a manhole after its cover came loose in the road.

There were also a number of crashes between vehicles. Collisions involving more than one car occurred in Bognor Regis, Uckfield, Sharpthorne and Haywards Heath as well as in Carden Avenue, Brighton, and Blatchington Road, Hove. In all cases there were no serious injuries.

Sussex Police has reiterated its advice to drivers and warns of the need to take care in heavy rain.

Sussex Police’s wet weather advice:

  • Slow down
  • Use dipped headlights
  • Allow extra space for braking
  • Beware of standing water/fallen trees/storm debris etc
  • Allow extra time for journeys
  • Obey warning signs, e.g. floods, road closed
  • Carry high-visibility waterproof clothing, warning triangles, etc in case of breakdown