RUSH hour on Wednesday mornings has been revealed as the most dangerous time to be on the road in Hampshire.

Records released by the Department for Transport show that more accidents happen during the "danger hour" of 8am to 9am on that day of the week - 91 in 2006 - than at any other time.

At weekends, travelling between noon and 1pm on Saturday, and 1pm and 2pm on Sunday, was riskiest, with more than 50 crashes recorded in the county in both 60-minute periods over the year.

Overall, Friday was the most dangerous day, with 886 accidents involving drivers, passengers and pedestrians logged in 12 months. Sunday had the lowest rate at 533 smashes during 2006.

On the Isle of Wight, the "danger hour" was between 4pm and 5pm on Mondays, with 11 road accidents recorded over the year, the latest for which figures are available.

The most dangerous day on the Island's roads was Tuesday, with 75 collisions, while the safest was Saturday, when there were 49.

The Government said that it was on target to cut the number of road accidents across Britain by 40 per cent by 2010.

A spokeswoman for the DfT said: "Road casualties in Great Britain have reduced significantly in recent years - more than 15,000 fewer people were killed or seriously injured in 2006 compared to the mid-1990s.

"We are on track to meet our 2010 target of reducing by 40 per cent the number of accidents in which someone is killed or seriously injured and we have met our 2010 target of halving the number of children killed or badly hurt three years early.

"However, we are determined to continue to drive down the number of people killed or injured on our roads.

"We are spending around £16m a year on our award-winning THINK! road safety campaigns while helping the police to tackle bad driving and exploring new technology and design that could make our vehicles and roads safer."

The Government is preparing to launch a 12-week consultation into proposals to impose restrictions on the number of passengers novice drivers can carry and a requirement on learners to spend 12 months taking lessons before being allowed on the road unaccompanied.