Tips from the experts: driving through flash floods


With the Met Office warning of torrential rain for a good while to come, here's the IAM's advice on driving through flash floods. As it happens, we drove through some of the worst of yesterday's downpour, and it was far from a pleasant experience; this advice, from the IAM's Drive & Survive series, is timely and very useful.

Drive on the highest section of the road and don't set off if a vehicle is approaching you
Leave time and space to avoid swamping other cars and pedestrians.

Drive slowly and keep going once you have started – make sure you have a clear run. In a manual car, keep the revs high by "slipping the clutch" (which means the clutch is not fully engaged) all the time you are in the water.

If you can't see where you are going to come out of the water, such as when approaching flooding on a bend, think twice about starting to drive into it.

In deep water never take your foot off the accelerator, as this could allow water to travel up the exhaust pipe.

Once you're out of the water, dry the brakes before you need them. The best way is to lightly apply the brake as you drive along for a few seconds, after checking nothing is following you too closely.

The IAM's Peter Rodger said: "A suddenly very wet road surface increases the chances of slipping when braking or steering, which is a problem not just for motorists, but cyclists and motorcyclists too.

"When driving in wet conditions remember that stopping distances will increase, and visibility will be reduced. Drop your speed and give yourself more time to slow down."

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