This week, Britain is in the grip of Storm Angus, with 84mph gusts hitting the coast and some counties facing lashing rain and flooding. As drivers continue to face complications on roads across the UK, Perrys has the following advice for motoring in water-logged conditions:
1. Plan Your Trip
Motorways tend to be choked as vehicles move away from swamped A roads. Allow more journey time and take a mobile telephone, a flask with something hot to drink, and boots, just in case the unanticipated happens.
Make certain your windscreen wipers aren’t worn – and are working well.
3. See And Be Seen
Ensure your car lights are working as they should be, particularly brake lights. Also, don’t forget to turn on your vehicle’s headlights during downpours.
4. Stopping Distance
Twofold the distance between you and the vehicle in front – your braking distance in rainy weather is lengthier. Remember to try-out your brakes smoothly after driving into water, as they may not be as quick to respond.
5. Slow Down
Don’t drive quickly through standing water – aquaplaning is a real possibility. Remember also that the road may have potholes that, if submerged, you’d be powerless to eschew – possibly causing wheel or tyre damage.
6. Depth And Speed
If you can’t clearly see the tarmac or the kerb, you don’t know how deep the rainwater is. Drive at a snail’s pace, at 1-2 mph, through deeper water, stay in the middle of the road (the uppermost point), keep in a low gear, and keep your car’s revs high to avert water flowing into your vehicle’s exhaust pipe. If the water is more than 10cm deep, or if you are having any uncertainty at all, don’t carry on and establish a different route.
If your car breaks down in flood water, get out of the vehicle. Turn on the car’s hazard-warning lights – and don’t leave the bonnet open. In a rain storm, this may only increase any engine damage. Finally, contact a reputable firm for breakdown assistance or call the emergency services.