Top Tips for driving in floods
November 26, 2012

Tips for driving in floods

With a blanket of torrential rain covering the UK in the upcoming weeks, you may be questioning your driving ability and safety for not only yourself but those closest to you. We have prepared some useful tips to improve your safety in such conditions.

Drivers of 4x4 cars may believe they are immune from the dangers of deep puddles and standing water on the road due to their height and traction, however, if they are not driven in the correct way they too will fall victim to the floods.

Top Tip: Plan Your Journey

The Highway Agency and Met Office offer up vital information on the conditions certain roads may be facing and whether or not they are due to suffer because of the heavy downpour. If you plan and prepare your journey and check possible weather conditions you can easily avoid the weather and prevent the weather affecting your journey.

You should also try and plan to stay on main roads whilst on your journey to reduce the risk of possibly facing a difficult body of water in the road.

As well as preparing your journey route you should also prepare your vehicle by ensuring that both your windows and headlights are clean and we would also recommend in more serious conditions you inflate your tyres a little more than the minimum legal limit 1.6mm tread depth.

Tip Two – Alter Your Driving

You may be aware of the possibility of your car aquaplaning in very wet conditions so you should therefore adjust your driving to prepare for the possibility of other vehicles aquaplaning or your own. 'Aquaplaning' is when a film of rain water gets into the grooves of the tyre and prevents the tyre from actually contacting the road resulting in a lack of control as your car just glides across the water.

If your car does aquaplane we would recommend you lift off the accelerator slowly and simply slow down and do not brake or violently steer the car. If you were to brake and violently steer you are more likely to have an accident due to the sudden jerk of the vehicle, again we would like to emphasise the importance of making soft and gentle movements to keep the vehicle as stable as possible.

The deepest of flood water is commonly known to be near the kerb so be sure to stay as close to the middle of the road as you can get whilst keeping your speed low and your engine revs relatively high.

Tip Three: What do you do if your car breaks down?

Always stay with your vehicle, you should only ever abandon your vehicle if there is absolutely no other alternative and the conditions you are in are potentially life threatening.

You should position your car out of harms way so it is not at risk of causing an accident or obstructing traffic. Remember to put your hazard lights to warn other drivers around of your vehicle and help your vehicle be more visible in terrible conditions.

Do not open your bonnet if it is raining as your car would not be going anywhere fast if the electrics get damaged by the rain.

Remember, flood waters can and will rise very quickly, so be sure to properly prepare for your journey in rainy conditions. If you adjust your driving and drive with an added alertness and vigilant view and to the conditions of the road you will able to reach your destination successfully.

Of course the best advice of all is only to travel if absolutely necessary, and these are the very best tips that Easy Gap can give!

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