Belgrave Motor Company

Safe driving in floods
30 January 2016

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Motorists should take special precautions in flooded conditions

Sadly, the UK has seen regular bouts of flooding in recent years. Flooding can happen very quickly, and you may be faced with water on the roads completely unexpectedly. Here's some advice for safer driving:

Driving in flooded conditions

- Avoid driving quickly through water of any depth as speed can force water into the engine
- If your steering suddenly feels light on wet roads, you could be aquaplaning, meaning your tyres have lost contact with the road surface. Respond by easing off on the accelerator, avoid braking and gradually allow your car to slow until your control of the steering is restored
- Keep listening to local weather and traffic reports for flood updates between you and your destination so you can avoid flooded areas
- Avoid driving through water where you can't be certain of the depth. Checking where the kerb edge is helps you judge the depth, but don't trust that flood water is always the depth you think it is
- If you have to drive through flood water, make sure the way ahead is clear to avoid standing stationary in water
- Test your brakes as soon as you are out of the flooded area
- Should your engine suddenly cut out when driving in flood areas, don't try to restart it as this can cause further damage
- If your vehicle is damaged by floods, you'll need to prove to your insurer that your actions weren't at fault, so it's best to err on the side of caution from a financial point of view as well as for your personal safety

Other tips for wet weather

- If you happen to break down when it's raining heavily then keep your bonnet closed to avoid the electrics getting wet
- If you live in an area prone to floods, make sure your car is always parked in a flood-resistant area. If you're going away for any period of time, find a raised spot to park your vehicle while you're away.