Drivers urged to take care as flood warnings issued

Drivers urged to take care as flood warnings issued 13th August 2015

Drivers in the UK have been urged to take care across the next few days, as the Met Office has warned that as much as a month's rainfall could fall within the space of just 48 hours, leaving roads at risk of flood and drivers having to contend with very challenging road conditions. 

On Thursday and Friday, it is feared England and Wales could suffer rainfall levels of between 30mm and 50mm. This will leave problems with localised flooding and surface water across the country, with those in the east of England most likely to be badly affected in the next couple of days.

Dealing with these road conditions can be problematic for drivers, but there are a number of ways to make sure you stay safe when you're out and about in heavy rain and floods. 

Flood water

When you encounter flood waters on the road, you need to make sure that you assess the situation before driving through it. If the floodwater is moving, never attempt to cross it, as it can be very dangerous. If you assess that the water is safe to drive through, never move too quickly as you risk creating a wave that could flood your engine. 

Remember, always wait until the water is clear of other vehicles as well, and always test your brakes as soon as possible to make sure the water has not affected them adversely. 

Aquaplaning

Standing water on road surfaces can cause issues with handling. If water gets into the tread of your tyres, it can make it hard to control the vehicle. If you are driving in heavy rain and you find your steering becomes light or unresponsive, it is vital that you know how to handle the situation. 

To deal with aquaplaning, simply make sure you are holding the steering wheel lightly and ensure that you lift off the accelerator until such times as you are able to regain control of the car. It's also important to make sure your car has tyres with a deep tread that can deal with this issue better. If your tyres are old and worn, have new tyres fitted to help make it less likely that you'll face problems with aquaplaning.

Stopping distances

When the weather goes through a dramatic change, your driving should follow suit in order to ensure that you remain safe. One of the most important aspects of this is knowing that you need to leave more space between you and the car in front. Stopping distances increase when the road surface is wet, and you should always make sure you are leaving double the space between your car and the one in front. 

Visibility

Visibility is vital when there is heavy rain in the air. Of course, this means making sure your wiper blades are in good health and can deal with the heavy rainfall that's coming down on the car. In addition to this, you need to ensure that your headlights are working well. When rain is particularly heavy, it is a legal requirement that you use your lights to help increase visibility and show other drivers where you are on the road. 

Posted by Danielle Barge