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Learn how to drive through floods safely

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June 8, 2017
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The Met Office is predicting more torrential rain and has warned of widespread flooding and disruption – but how do you drive through floods safely?

Flooding can happen any time thanks to rain, blocked drains, burst water mains, high tides and burst river banks.

While the Environment Agency will issue warnings about burst rivers and high tides, floods caused by excess surface water on the roads from heavy rain or drains that can’t cope, is harder to predict.

It can happen anywhere and can be very localised.

How to drive through floods safely

Here are a few tips from Adrian Flux to keep you on the move in heavy rain or even if you do find your way blocked by standing water.

Driving in heavy rain

  • Turn your headlights on – the Highway Code says you should use them when visibility is seriously reduced (less than 100m).
  • Leave double the distance between you and the vehicle in front as it takes longer to stop in the wet.
  • If your steering feels light you may be  aquaplaning. Ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually.
  • If you break down don’t prop the bonnet open while you wait for help. Damp and rain-soaked electrical components can make it harder to start the engine.

Drive through floods safely

  • Try to avoid standing water if you can – it is better to turn around and find an alternative route than having your engine fail in the middle of a flooded road.
  • Don’t drive into flood water that’s more than 10cm deep.
  • Drive slowly and steadily through the water.
  • Test your brakes as soon as you can afterwards.
  • If you do get stuck in standing flood water, stay in the car and call for help rather than trying to get out.

It only takes a little water to damage your car’s engine, and on many cars the engine’s air intake is low down at the front.

Find out how to protect your property in the event of a flood.



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