Don’t drive through flooding
Whether you are driving or walking, if you come to a flooded road, always remember this one simple rule: Turn Around, Don’t Drown.
This rule is extremely important because you won’t know the depth of the water, and you won’t know the condition of the road underneath the water.
Remember that flooding can occur any time and anywhere, and as little as six inches of fast-moving floodwater can knock you off your feet. A depth of two feet will float most vehicles, and that even includes sport utility vehicles or 4x4s.
While most floods can’t be prevented, if you are outside or away from your home there are simple steps you can take to protect your life and property.
If flooding occurs:
- Move to higher ground immediately and stay away from flood prone areas.
- Do not allow children to play near high water, storm drains or ditches. Remember: hidden dangers often lie beneath the water.
- Flooded roads can have significant damage hidden by floodwaters, such as open drains and manholes. Never drive on a flooded road.
- Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognise flood dangers.
The AA has issued useful information on safe driving in floods and heavy rain.
Driving fast through standing water is:
- dangerous - tyres will lose contact with the road and you will lose control of your vehicle’s steering. This is known as 'aquaplaning'. If you do experience aquaplaning, hold the steering wheel lightly and lift off the accelerator until the tyres regain grip.
- inconsiderate - driving through water at speeds above a slow crawl throws water onto pavements, soaking pedestrians or cyclists. It could also cause a wave or ‘surge’ of water that can flow over kerbs, walls and flood defences, causing major flood damage to buildings and property.
Be warned: you could face a heavy fine and 3-9 points on your licence if the police believe you were driving without reasonable consideration for other road users.
- expensive - the air intake on many cars is positioned low down at the front of the engine bay, and it only takes a small quantity of water sucked into the engine to cause serious damage. All engines are affected but turbo-charged and diesel engines are most at risk.