How to Drive Through Flood Water
With the UK's notorious wet weather, it’s not uncommon to come across flood water on the roads.
But despite flooded roads being relatively common, plenty of people still are unsure of how to approach them.
From understanding the risks to mastering the art of safe passage - we'll equip you advice to keep you and your car safe when driving through flooded roads.
Before we dive in, here's the golden rule: It's always best to avoid flooded roads.
Driving Through Deep Flood Water
If you’re heading towards deep flood water, it’s important to assess the depth. If it seems too deep, generally more than six inches, it's safer to find an alternative route.
Driving through deep water can be risky as it can hide hazards like deep potholes or debris. If it’s too deep, it can also flood your engine which can turn out to be a costly fix!
If you do decide to proceed, drive slowly and steadily to maintain control.
Use a low gear and Keep the engine's revs up by slipping the clutch if necessary. This helps prevent water from entering the exhaust pipe.
It's also crucial to stick to the middle of the road where the water is likely to be shallower, due to the natural camber in roads. You should also follow the tire tracks of the vehicle ahead, if possible.
Once you're through the deep water, gently test your brakes on the other side to dry them off and ensure they're still working effectively.
Remember, it's all about taking it slow and steady.
Rushing through deep water can lead to serious vehicle damage or even cause the engine to cut out, leaving you stranded.
How to Drive Through Shallow Flood Water
Navigating shallow flood water may seem less intimidating, but it still requires careful consideration.
When faced with shallow standing water, typically up to six inches deep, reduce your speed before entering.
Drive slowly and steadily through the water to avoid creating a bow wave (and to avoid splashing pedestrians).
This pace will help you maintain control and reduce the risk of water entering the exhaust.
It's also crucial to keep a safe distance from any vehicle ahead, as stopping distances can be longer on wet roads.
As you exit the water, remember to dry your brakes by gently applying them while maintaining a low speed for a short distance.
Cars come in different shapes and sizes, but one universal piece of advice is to avoid driving through flooded areas whenever possible.
Read more about driving in adverse weather conditions:
- Tips for Driving in Heavy Rain
- Autumn Driving Tips: Prepare Yourself and Your Car for the New Season
- Checklist for Driving in the Winter
FAQs About Driving Through Flood Water:
How Should You Drive Through Flood Water?
To safely navigate flood water, start by assessing the depth to ensure it's safe to proceed. If manageable, drive slowly to prevent water from splashing into the engine and keep the car in a low gear for better control. It's important to avoid making waves, which can damage both your car and surrounding property.
Is My Car Insured if I Drive Through a Flood?
Whether your car is insured for driving through a flood depends on your specific insurance policy. Typically, comprehensive car insurance policies cover flood damage. However, it's crucial to check the terms of your policy. If the damage is deemed to have been avoidable or due to reckless driving, your insurance might not cover it.