Driving In Floods: Everything You Need To Know…
England seems to face more and more floods as of late, causing havoc for local communities. But they pose a serious risk to drivers, too. Here’s how to drive safely during floods…
Understand The Risk
Floods are dangerous in general, isolating communities, cutting them off from emergency services and causing great hardship for some of the most vulnerable members of society. Recent research has revealed that three-quarters of drivers would risk driving through flood water. This is despite the leading cause of death during flooding being driving through it.
It only takes 30 cm of moving water to raise a car and just 60 cm to carry it off. The force at which cars can be rammed into obstacles can cause serious, if not fatal, injuries to the occupants and other road-users. Even in the absence of this, a tiny amount of water can ruin a car; an egg cup’s worth can stop an engine from working. Should this happen, you’ll probably face a bill numbering in the thousands or, even worse, the prospect of writing-off your car. In this sense, then, getting stranded in a bit of water is the best outcome of taking needless risks.
For a bit more perspective, most drownings take place at around 3 metres from a safe point. Two-thirds of people who die in flood water are considered to be ‘good’ swimmers. A third of flood-related deaths take place in vehicles. You can be knocked off of your feet in just 15 cm of moving water and, in many cases, it will prevent you from getting your footing back again. Culverts, which carry water from roads, can become so powerful during flooding that they can drag in pets, children and even adults. Finally, even if you escape flood water, it’s often very unclean and can carry dirt, rubbish and diseases.
Driving In Floods Safely
When you encounter flood water the absolute best thing you can do, for yourself and your car, is to simply turn around and find another route. If it’s moving water, it’s definitely a major hazard; but anything above 10 cm should be avoided. If it’s lower, and you do decide to negotiate it, let oncoming vehicles go first. Drive very slowly and steadily, as to avoid creating a bow wave. Watch out for slip and trip hazards like concealed kerbs and manhole covers. Once you’ve crossed the flood water, you should check your brakes immediately as water can cause them to malfunction. If you do get stuck during the attempt, it’s usually safer to remain in the vehicle and to call for help from within.
So, remember, avoid flood water whenever possible; finding another route is the most sensible course of action. If you can’t, drive very slowly, watch out for concealed obstacles and remain in the vehicle (using your seatbelt) if you become stuck or your vehicle is raised. Finding another route can be frustrating and time-consuming, but it’s better than getting hurt or worse.
Don’t Lose Your Grip: Driving Safely In The Rain – https://www.autoserveclub.co.uk/blog/dont-lose-your-grip-driving-safely-in-the-rain/
Spare Tyres: Motorists Want Them Back As Standard – https://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/spare-tyres-motorists-want-them-back-as-standard/