With the weather as turbulent as it has been in the past few days, we’ve put together some essential information below on how to cope when driving through floods.
High winds and torrential rain has dominated the UK over the past few weeks and with the high levels of rain comes the danger of flooding on the roads.
Driving through floods is a dangerous manoeuvre which should only be undertaken if you’re an experience driver who is aware of the necessary precautions to take. Failing to pay attention to flood warnings or how to deal with them, could result in permanent damage to your car.
Some of the potential damage associated with driving through floods includes shorted-out electrics, or major risks such as your engine sucking in water causing a hydraulic lock. If the water is fast moving there is even the risk your car could be carried off into deeper flood water with you still inside.
If you have to make a journey and cannot avoid driving through floods, follow Trusted Dealers’ steps below:
Before you drive through any rain water, make sure there is no more than 6 inches of standing water or 4 inches of moving water.
A good way to decide if you think your car is capable of driving through a flood is to park up first and observe how other vehicles are handling it. In particular, look out for hidden dips and gullies where the water could be deeper.
If you decide to drive through the flood, stay on the crown of the road where possible, and drive through the water very slowly in first gear.
Keep the engine revs up to avoid water entering the exhaust pipe. Do not try to exit the flood quickly as an increase in speed could push water into the engine bay.
Even if the puddle looks fairly shallow, avoid driving too fast into it as it could lead to aquaplaning where the tyres will no longer steer the car and you will ultimately lose control. This is not only highly dangerous for you but also for pedestrians.
When you emerge from the flood water, dry the brakes by pressing gently on them. It is also a good idea to check the radiator matrix for any blockages which could be caused by leaves or debris contained in the flood water.
Keep an eye out for reckless drivers who might be coming toward you – you might be making necessary precautions, but if a larger 4×4 or truck comes the other way it could create waves large enough to really damage your car.
If you do find your car gets stuck in a flood and stops, make sure you leave the bonnet closed to avoid any further water intake. Get out of the car, lock it, then head for dry land and call the emergency services.