One in four motorists who find their route blocked by up to a foot of moving floodwater would try to drive through it, a new survey reveals.
That is despite the AA and Environment Agency strongly advising people not to enter floodwater if it is moving, or over four inches deep.
Meanwhile, 42% told the Populus survey, conducted on behalf of the two organisations, that they would follow if the vehicle in front successfully managed to cross a flooded road.
Another 2% admitted they would ignore a road closure sign altogether and carry on driving, despite drastically raising their risk of having a road accident, which could easily result in a personal injury claim being made against them.
North East ‘biggest risk takers’
The survey found men are more likely than women to plough on through deeply-flooded roads, with 55 to 64-year-olds the age group likeliest to have a cavalier attitude.
Regionally, drivers in the North East are more likely than those in other areas to take a risk.
Phil Rothwell, head of flood strategy and engagement at the Environment Agency said, “Tragically, people die because they’ve taken risks and attempted to drive through floodwater just to save a few minutes. Floodwater is dangerous, dirty and it can carry disease.
“If there is widespread flooding in your area then don’t travel and if a road is closed then turn around and make a detour. Your journey could take you a little longer but making the right decision could ultimately save your life.”
And Darron Burness, head of the AA’s flood rescue team, added: “The 9,000 vehicles driven into floodwater that the AA attended last year tell only half the story. There are thousands of other drivers who, perhaps unwittingly, came so close to coming a cropper.”
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Date Published: November 29, 2013
Author: David Brown