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Over 65 Years Old? You Are The Most Likely To Risk Driving Through A Flood!

Over 65 Years Old? You Are The Most Likely To Risk Driving Through A Flood!

The UK seems to be seeing more and more devastating floods, flash flood can happen rapidly and unexpectedly so it’s best to be prepared …

The Environment Agency and the AA teamed up and released new statistics that reflect how seriously drivers in the UK take the threat of floods.  Water and a combustion engine don’t mix!  A car can be seriously damaged by a flood, from shorted out electrics to all kinds of damage to the engine from sucking water in.  Yet still there are some risk takers among us that would rather give it a go than turn around and find another route.  It was found the most likely group to drive through a flood was the over 65’s, 49% of whom said they would give it a go compared to 40% of the least experienced drivers (aged 8-24) Between the genders 26% of men said they would turn around when faced with a flood compared to far more sensible 38% of women.  Those who lived in London were the least likely to attempt to drive through a flood, perhaps the most nervous outside of their usual city habitat!

The best advice is to never attempt to drive through a flood and to never drive through moving water in cases you are carried away, just 30cm of water can cause a car to float.  Water hides what is lurking beneath, the water could have caused the road surface to erode and can disguise any deep dips.  However, if you find yourself with no other choice make sure you are familiar with Rivervale’s top tips to driving through flood water;

  1. Stop the vehicle well before the flood.  This gives you time to watch any other traffic that may reveal the depth of water or any hidden dips. 
  2. Put your hazards lights on to alert others around you of the danger ahead.
  3. Do not start to cross the water if any cars are coming the other way, if they are going too fast they may produce a surge of water that covers your car, obscuring your view of the road ahead.  Do not attempt to drive through the flood if there are any pedestrians nearby, it is illegal to splash a pedestrian and if your car starts to float you may not be able to control the steering and so ensure pedestrians safety.
  4. Enter the water at around 1-2 mph. Then increase your speed to 3-4 mph this will create a small bow wave that may help keep water out of the engine.
  5. Keep in 1st gear and keep revs high for the duration of your time through the flood.  This will decrease your changes of stalling the car and becoming stranded in the middle of the flood waters.
  6. Keep to the centre of the road, this is where the road surface will be the highest as most road dome slightly so rainwater drains off to the sides.
  7. Once out of the water be sure to take the time to make sure your brakes are working correctly, use them gently to dry them off.
  8. If your car stops in the middle of the flood, climb out, get to safety and then call for help.

You can check your route is flood free by checking the Environment Agency's Flood Warning Service, it is updated every 15 minutes.

The comments above do not necessarily reflect Rivervale's views unless clearly stated.


15 November 2016
Written by Natalie Faughy
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