As climate changes are bringing ever more rain to the UK, flooding is becoming a problem in more and more areas across the country. Periods of heavy rain can cause rivers to burst banks; urban areas are flooded because drains and sewers fail to cope and there is always the risk of flash floods. This presents drivers with an ever increasing risk of damage to their cars and motoring accidents.
Six inches of water
Flood waters of just six inches can cause drivers to lose control over their vehicles, which could easily lead to vehicle collisions. This level of water can also cause vehicles to stall by being washed into air intakes or getting sucked into the exhaust. Stalling an engine as a result of flood water being sucked into the cylinders through the exhaust can cause extensive and subsequently expensive damage to engines. This can also happen while changing gears, which causes changes in manifold depression and engine speed. Hitting cold water could also result in the catalytic converter – part of vehicles’ exhaust systems that can get extremely hot – cracking.
12 inches of water and above
When flood water levels reach 12 inches, many cars will begin to float. This, of course, will cause loss of control and could lead to potentially serious car accidents. By the time the water level reaches 24 inches, there is a definite risk of cars as large as four-wheel drive vehicles being swept away, especially in places where the water is flowing rapidly, like when approaching flooded bridges, for instance.
While it is obviously best to avoid driving altogether when floods are present or likely; some journeys cannot be avoided. Flood-related damage to cars or car crashes can, however, be avoided by:
- Approaching large expanses of water on the road with extreme care, bearing in mind that flood water can wash away whole sections of a road
- Checking water levels before attempting to drive through. The general rule is to never drive through water you would not walk through
- Driving through water one car at a time and very slowly (in first or second gear) and avoiding the creation of large ‘bow waves’
Once you have passed the flooded section, make sure to test your brakes by lightly tapping them repeatedly, this can help the drying out process, to prevent accidents on the road.
When others cause mayhem
Should you be injured in a road traffic accident another driver was responsible for, you could qualify for driver injury compensation. Our nationwide Accident Advice Helpline legal team specialises in traffic accident claims. Call our freephone helpline on 0800 689 0500 to learn more.
Date Published: July 22, 2015
Author: Accident Advice