Top 10 Tips for Driving in Flood Conditions

We would encourage that wherever possible, you should not drive your vehicle in flood conditions, however, should you find yourself in the situation then the following 10 tips would be a guideline on how to attempt tackling your journey.

Take an alternative route - Before you attempt to drive through a flooded area, always try to check if there's an alternative/safer route you can take. You should always avoid attempting to drive through any flooded road.

Stop and assess the situation - Without a close look, you are never fully aware of the depth of the water or what is lurking above or below, e.g. electrical power lines or hazardous floating debris. Therefore, should you decide to attempt to cross any water, be sure to assess the situation beforehand.

How deep is it? - Generally, the rule is that you should not attempt to drive through water that is more than six inches deep, e.g. if the water is coming in the top of your welly boots, then do not attempt, however, if the water is moving, the maximum depth is even less - as little as four inches of water is enough to sweep your vehicle away in a flood.

Aim for higher ground - Most roads are designed to let water drain down the sides, therefore, you should aim to drive on the highest part of the road, which is the middle, also known as the crown. Be cautious of any trenches or potholes etc. that can cause a sudden increase in the depth of water.

Low gears and low speeds - Hitting water at high speeds can cause your vehicle to aquaplane which means your vehicle losses it’s traction and you lose control of the car; therefore, should you decide to, it has been recommended that you enter bodies of water at as low as 1-2 mph.

Keep your car revving - It’s been suggested that once you enter the water, you should try to keep your car’s engine revving (accelerating up to around 4-5 mph) as this can help to keep water from getting into the exhaust.

What should you do if you stall? - It’s important to try and start your vehicle again as soon as you stall, as the longer you wait, the further the water will be entering in your car through the exhaust.

Be cautious when passing other vehicles - Avoid driving across or passing larger vehicles. These vehicles can cause waves that can push water higher than expected.

Dry your brakes - To dry your brakes after driving through water, regularly, lightly apply the brakes for a few miles – this will help to heat your brakes and evaporate any water.

What if your car stops? - If your car does stop in the flood, you should attempt to climb out and lock the doors before making your way to solid ground, again, taking care of any hazards lurking above or below the water. As a last point of call, if you are concerned for your safety, you should contact the appropriate Emergency Services.