Driving in flood conditions
Despite some recent summers being particularly dry, the UK has a well-deserved reputation for rainy weather. Winter, spring, autumn and even the occasional summer day - the clouds will open and we can end up with several centimetres of water falling on us in just a short space of time.
Although most of the roads in the UK have decent drainage, not all are properly equipped to be able to deal with a cloudburst or sustained rainfall over a longer period. As a result, flooding is a relatively common occurrence throughout the UK road network.
Most people are able to think of one or two places near to them where the road is liable to flood, in some cases so badly that it can be impassable. In these locations, residents know to move their cars further down the road and block up their roadside gateways with sandbags when heavy rain is predicted.
Flooding is extremely costly, causing millions of pounds-worth of damage each year to UK properties. Many drivers see their motor insurance quotes go up after having to claim on their car insurance because a flooded road meant their car has been ruined by several feet of rainwater.
So, to help you avoid flood-related accidents and expensive future motor insurance quotes, duck2water Car Insurance Services has put together a guide on how to drive in flood conditions.
Tips for driving in floods
If there has been an extreme weather warning in your area and lots of rainfall is expected, the most sensible thing to do is postpone any unnecessary journeys. Even if you know the area well and are confident that it will be possible to drive through any floods, poor conditions can cause even the safest stretch of road to become treacherous.
If you absolutely must travel, tune into your local radio for up-to-date travel reports so you can plan a route that is not too badly affected by flooding. However, heavy rain and blocked drains can cause floods to build up quickly so remember that there may be a flood around any corner. You may find the road is blocked and you need to go a different way so it is worth leaving lots of time to spare.
If you come across a flood and are not sure whether it will be too deep to drive through, it isn't worth taking the risk of getting stuck. Many an unfortunate motorist has ended up knee-deep in freezing cold water trying to push their car out after they failed to make it through a flood. Any one of these people could tell you that it isn't to be recommended.
Bear in mind that some vehicles may sustain serious damage in just a few inches of water, depending on how high the exhaust is from the road. If water is sucked into the exhaust, it can cause the catalytic converter to crack - and that is not a cheap car part to replace.
Deeper floods can be dangerous to motorists as it is not uncommon for cars to be swept away from the road if the water is 2 or more feet deep. This situation is also extremely likely to result in damage to the car and drivers are likely to see their motor insurance quotes shoot up if they have to claim for repairs.
The accepted advice is not to drive through a flood if you cannot see the road through it and certainly don't enter if it is higher than the bottom of your car doors. Even if you believe that the flood is shallow, it is best to drive on the highest part of the road. This is usually the centre of the road and you should carefully check that there is no traffic coming the other way before you enter the flood.
As you drive into the water, stay in first gear but keep the clutch partially depressed and the revs up. The movement of the gases in the exhaust will help to keep it clear of water, helping to prevent damage occurring to the catalytic converter. You should try to keep an even speed that does not cause more than small waves in the flood water.
When you emerge from the flood, test your brakes to ensure that they are working properly otherwise you could face a car insurance claim and increased motor insurance quote prices. If they are not functioning correctly, stop as soon as possible and telephone for breakdown assistance.
My car has been flooded - what do I do?
If your car has been flooded while parked on a road or driveway, the time it has spent submerged and the extent of the water damage will determine what steps you should take.
A car that has only been standing in water for a short time and does not have water in the passenger compartment may well be safe to drive. However, be very cautious as you drive and take it to a garage for a check up as soon as possible because the brakes may have been affected.
If the water has penetrated the passenger compartment, it is important that you do not start the car. Water interference with the electrical system could mean that even turning the ignition on could cause the airbags in the car to go off.
A car which has been in water for a longer period of time may have substantial damage and you should consult a local dealer for advice on what to do.
Great motor insurance quotes - rain or shine
It doesn't matter whether it is raining or not, the motor insurance quotes from duck2water Car Insurance Services always shine! Cheap, easy and quick - what more could you want?
We have designed our online motor insurance quote system to be incredibly straightforward to use. It should only take a few minutes to fill out the hassle-free form then you will be presented with your cheap car insurance quote.