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Driving in Flood Water

November 19th, 2009. Posted in Motoring & Driving Tips

This week the Met Office has predicted a high likelihood of flood water after heavy rain. For the motorist this can be difficult to deal with if you come across it.

Ideally, if there is severe risk of flood, then stay at home but if you must travel and a journey is unavoidable then here are some tips to help you out.

1. Torrential rain brings with it visibility problems as the car mists up in seconds. Consider how you may use your air conditioning where visibility is an issue due to misting is a problem. Air con not only keeps you cool, but it removes moisture from the car to reduce window mist.

2. Its useful to know where the air intake is on your car. It’s not always possible to find out quickly, the lower it is on your car – the more likely water will get into the engine – needless to say, this is seriously bad news!

3.  Don’t go in if the water’s obviously too deep or flowing too quickly: consider an alternative route. It can take as little as 2 feet of flowing water to float a vehicle and wash it away, and even less for you to loose traction.

4.  If you have to drive through water try to drive in the highest section (only if you know where it is! don’t forget you may not be able to tell…)

5.  Drive only fast enough to create a small bow wave in front of the vehicle – driving at speed may be dangerous to other vehicles or pedestrians. Entering at speed may also mean you lose traction quickly and aqua-plain which won’t help you to get across.

6.  Keep going once you have started – make sure you have a clear run, put the car into first gear before entering the water, keep the revs high and set off.  Don’t go in if you can’t see a way out on the other side or another vehicle is blocking the exit – you don’t want water to enter the exhaust.

7.  Do not take your foot even slightly off the accelerator, as this will allow water to travel up the exhaust pipe. As you go through the water, slip the clutch if you can. After you come out, dry brakes gently before you need them – the best way is to lightly apply the brake as you drive along for a few seconds.

8.  At the other side, keep moving and continue to rev the engine to clear any water from the exhaust.

In the past during flood conditions people have been stranded over night. So if you must go out also ensure you have the some of the essentials in your car. Water, food, blankets, warm clothes, a torch, a mobile phone and something to read – you could be in one place, for a long time!