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Safety Tips for Driving in Flood Areas

Okay it’s getting beyond a joke now. Britain has been besieged by floods for months and recent reports from Berkshire make a harrowing read.

The situation has become so bad in West Berkshire that Thames Valley Police has declared this a major incident. They’re closing roads across the district and any motorist found ignoring the ‘road closed’ signs, thus putting themselves in danger, will be fined.

Is this overkill? We don’t think so. It’s dangerous trying to drive though a flooded road and you could be putting your life and other people’s lives at risk. Say you have no choice though, suppose you stumbled across a flooded road by chance, what steps should you take? Here’s what we’d do.

Avoid if possible

The best advice for driving through flood water is not to do it at all. If you do have to go through a flooded section of road make sure there’s no more than six inches of standing water. Just pull up for a minute and watch other cars. Gauge the depth of the water this way and see if they get through okay.

Stick to the middle

Roads tend to have a slight camber in the middle and water should be shallower in the centre of the road. If you decide to brave it head for the middle section of the road, take it nice and easy and stick to first gear.

Move slowly

The biggest mistake people make is trying to ‘rush’ through flood water, this floods the engine and causes the car to stall. It also creates an ‘arc’ of water which hits other vehicles and people in the vicinity of the flood water. Enter the water at 1-2 mph and don’t go above 3 -4 mph until you are clear.

Keep the revs up

Slip the clutch if you have to when going through the water, keep revving the engine and this will prevent water from getting into the exhaust system. Hopefully you’ll clear the water without any problems and be able to continue with your journey.

Take good care in these stormy conditions, we’ll be busier than ever at Generator Power providing emergency back up in perilous situations!