The road safety team at Hampshire County Council is urging all road users to take extra care now that the clocks have gone back one hour, as darker evenings close in.

The latest government statistics show that car and pedestrian accidents peak in October and November, coinciding with darker evenings and deteriorating weather conditions.

A poll by YouGov has found that only one in four children wear clothing that would make them more visible to motorists. It questioned 429 parents of children under 11 years and found that 74 per cent, or about 6.2 million children, do not wear fluorescent clothing.

Executive Member for Environment, Cllr Mel Kendal, said: "For the first time in months many motorists will be driving home in the dark, and children are likely to be walking home from school in fading light.

"I'd encourage drivers to watch their speed and be aware, as it's more difficult to see pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists as the evenings draw in.

"I'd especially urge parents to make sure their children can be clearly seen by wearing bright clothing, preferably with reflective or fluorescent strips. Remember that bright or fluorescent clothing is better in fading light, and reflective strips are the most effective way to be seen in the dark.

"It's so easy to make sure you're visible in the dark, and it could save your life. Taking a few simple precautions will mean you're much more visible to drivers. You can see them, but can drivers see you?"

He also recommended checking cycles to make sure reflectors were clean and to fit new batteries to lights.