Floods have started to hit the UK, namely Yorkshire and the North East, therefore it is important to know how to stay safe when driving.
While many cars will get through quite severe floods, there are a number of dangers. In addition to shorted-out electrics, there is a risk of the engine sucking in water which, being incompressible, will smash connecting rods, pistons and even crankshafts. If the water is fast-moving, there is also a risk that car could be carried off into deeper flood water with you inside.
If you meet a flood, the first thing you should do is try to avoid it. If you can’t, you should make sure there is not more than six inches of standing water or four inches of moving water. Park up and watch other cars and trucks, look out for hidden dips and gullies. If you go through, stay on the crown of the road, crawl through slowly in first gear and keep the engine revs up.
Avoid going too fast into even quite shallow puddles as that can lead to aquaplaning, where the front tyres will no longer steer the car and you lose control. It is also inconsiderate and illegal to soak pedestrians.
When you emerge from the water, dry the brakes by using them gently, and if there were leaves in the water, check the radiator for blockages.
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