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Tips For Driving When Dealing With Floods

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Tips For Driving When Dealing With Floods

Sally Driver
18 January 2013


Are you relatively new to driving, what would you do if you were driving along and came across a flooded road? Flooded roads are becoming more and more common in the UK and it is sensible to familiarise yourself with how to deal with the situation. The best advice is to avoid driving through floodwater.

Water deeper than about 25cm deep (up to the centre of the vehicle wheels) should not be driven through. Control will be lost and there is a danger that the car will be damaged, or even float away! If flooding is widespread it may be better to postpone your journey or adapt your route. Should you decide that you need to drive through a flooded section of road you must Check the depth - If in doubt DON'T DRIVE THROUGH Travel very slowly (less than 10 mph) Keep in 1st gear High revs (slip the clutch if necessary) Never change gear. Try your brakes once through the water.

Never attempt to drive through a flood that you can't walk through. The water will hide any dips in the road. Flood water can even wash the road away completely. About 6 inches of water is too deep for most passenger cars. Water can be washed into the air intake and sucked into the exhaust system causing irreparable damage. The water on a flooded road will normally be most shallow in the middle of the road (top of the camber) As little as 18 inches of flowing water can sweep a vehicle away. Never drive through deep running water. Flash floods come rapidly and unexpectedly (in a flash!) and you may have no warning. Never try to restart an engine that has stalled due to water being sucked in. Cold water on a hot catalytic converter can crack the welds. (very expensive to replace) Consider others - other vehicles and pedestrians. Look out for oncoming vehicles (A 4x 4 coming towards you can easily send a wave over your vehicle). Always try to negotiate a flooded stretch of road one vehicle at a time, but be prepared other drivers might not adhere to this and they could cause ripples in the water that could cause the water to rise quickly causing you and other drivers around serious problems.

Always approach this situation with caution, should you take the wrong decision you could find that your vehicle engine is destroyed and it will cost you greatly!


Learn to drive with an approved driving school such as acclaim driving school, Take weekly drivinglessons on learn to drive quickly with an intensive driving course. If you are looking for a driving course in how to drive through flloods, drive insnow and ice, or any other driving condition contact acclaim. https://www.acclaimdriving.com

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