With heavy rain causing severe flooding across much of the UK, including in our own region where many roads became impassable, forecasters are predicting that the worst is not yet over – there is more to come. We recap on how to stay safe and avoid an expensive insurance claim.
Rivers that burst their banks and prolonged heavy rainfall can cause flash floods and some areas are more prone to flooding than others. However, even if you think the flood is relatively safe, remember that driving through deep water can not only be extremely dangerous but it can cause serious damage to your car, which might not be covered by your insurance.
So before you try driving through a flood, you should be absolutely certain that it’s safe to do so. If you’re in any doubt whatsoever, turn around and find another route that will allow you to avoid the flood altogether.
Our top tips for driving safely through a flood:
- Watch other cars driving through to see how deep the water is. More than six inches of standing water can hide submerged obstacles or four inches of moving water could sweep your car away.
- Make sure your route across is clear – don’t follow another car into the water, it might stop, which could leave you stranded.
- Wait for on-coming, approaching vehicles to clear the water before you start to drive through.
- Try and keep the car at the highest point or at the crown of the road, so that it’s as far out of the water as possible.
- Don’t drive too fast, as this might cause you to aquaplane. Instead, find a steady speed you’re comfortable with. Experts at Land Rover advise entering the water slowly (about 1-2mph), before accelerating to about 3-4mph. This creates a bow wave in front of the vehicle, which will create a depression in the engine bay and keep the air intake clear of water. Stay in first gear and keep the revs up.
- Maintain a steady speed and try not to slow down as this can cause water to flow back into the engine through the radiator grille or sucked up by the exhaust pipe. Either will cause expensive damage, potentially even writing the car off.
- As you reach the other side of the flood, drive out of the water carefully – dry and test your brakes by touching them gently several times before continuing your journey.
- Above all remain calm, and if in doubt, don’t drive through the water, turn around and find an alternative route.
We are still offering a Free Vehicle health check – Call us today to book or just pop in and we’ll check your car while-you-wait to make sure it’s in good working order.
We’ll visually check your tyres, brakes, battery, lights, oil, coolant levels, wipers and screen wash so you can set off safe in the knowledge that your vehicle is perhaps not water-proof, but definitely road-ready! See below for more information.