When heavy rain showers strike in the UK, it can make driving from A to B very testing and extremely dangerous.
According to the AA, 32% of flood-related deaths happen in vehicles, while exposing your engine to just an egg cupful of water could wreck it and cost you a lot of money to fix. While these may be extreme examples, it’s essential that you’re ready for the wettest conditions all-year-round.
Here are some top driving tips to keep you safe while driving through flooded roads.
Reducing your speed while going through flooded roads is of paramount importance, as your tyres are more likely to lose contact with the road when there’s a lot of water covering the surface. As a result, this can cause you to lose steering control, otherwise known as aquaplaning.
If you feel like this is happening, safely reduce your speed and hold the steering lightly until you feel your tyres regain the grip of the road again.
Before you set off on your journey, try to test the water depth out of your house with a tape measure. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t drive through flooded roads if the depth exceeds 10cm and try not to stop in standing water if you can.
It’s also worth stocking up on our breakdown essentials to prepare yourself for an emergency situation.
Don’t make a splash
This may come as a surprise to some drivers, but splashing pedestrians and cyclists can lead to a fine or points on your license. So you should avoid any big puddles, or reduce your speed to a crawl.
For more obscure driving laws, check out our previous blog here.
Test your brakes
As soon as you pass through any flooded roads, always try to test your brakes afterwards – providing it’s safe to do so. This helps to dry off the brakes and keep them working properly.
Stay in your car
If your vehicle breaks down, you should pull over immediately and remain inside. Stepping out of your vehicle while you’re waiting for help could be very dangerous.
However, this wouldn’t apply if you break down on the hard shoulder of the motorway. In this case, put your hazard lights on and find a safe position on the side of the road.
If you’re thinking about looking under the bonnet, don’t, as exposing your engine to excessive rain can potentially wreck it.
Use your lights
If your visibility is under 100 metres when driving, turn your headlights on. You can also use your fog lights if you’re struggling to see past this distance as well.
However, it’s important that you turn off your fog lights when the visibility improves, as this could dazzle other drivers. You can find out more about when to use your fog lights here.
Don’t stop moving
Although it’s important to let other vehicles pass and drive responsibly through flooded roads, keeping your vehicle moving is one of our most important driving tips. Bringing your vehicle to a halt while crossing deep water can allow it to enter your exhaust pipe and cause a lot of damage.
If you do have to make an unwanted stop, keep the engine revs up to reduce the likelihood of your vehicle seizing while stationary.
We hope these tips help to make driving on flooded roads a little easier. Stay safe out there and make sure you’re prepared for an emergency situation with our breakdown essentials.