Rain rain go away…

muddy puddle

Credit: vi:sualize.us for photo

Purdy is fuming! 

This morning, she popped to the local shop to get milk for the office and was drenched from head to foot by a driver who drove fast through a large pool of water by the side of the road.

This got her thinking – not just about the need to be considerate when driving but more generally about driving in wet conditions.

We may not have had ice and snow yet this winter but for the driest county in the country we have had plenty of rain!

Although we are much more fortunate than others living near the Thames and in the South West, we still have areas with surface water flooding.

Purdy’s always been cautious about driving through standing water on the roads, and she is glad she is, having read up on how only an eggful of water in the air intake can wreck an engine, that six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars and can cause loss of control or stalling as water is sucked into the exhaust or air intake, and that one foot of flowing water can move an average family car.

So what is the best thing to do, if she comes across a flooded stretch of road?

Well the AA recommends that you turn around and find a different route as your first option. Or pull over and watch what others are doing to evaluate how deep the water is.

Ultimately only drive through a flooded area if you know that the water is no more than six inches high and if it is moving water be even more cautious. If you do drive through:

  • Allow oncoming traffic to pass first
  • Make sure you have a clear route ahead before moving
  • Move to the middle of the road where the water is likely to be shallowest
  • Drive slowly and steadily in first gear
  • Keep the revs up to prevent water entering the exhaust
  • Don’t increase speed until you are completely out of the flood
  • Check your brakes as soon as you can after leaving the water

Looking at various discussion threads on driving through floods, Purdy also picked up a useful tip, open the window and keep an eye on the front wheel. If water starts rising above the centre of the wheel – time to turn back.

Driving slowly through a flood is common sense to Purdy, but she is a little concerned that Baz might see it as a bit of fun to plow through a stretch of water as fast as he can,  so in a ‘subtle’ way she has highlighted the potential risks (and costs) involved in driving fast through a flood or pooled water at the edge of a road:

  • Brake failure
  • Loss of steering control
  • Wrecked engine through water ingress
  • Damage to catalyctic convertor
  • Potential fine and penalty points if you soak pedestrians

In conclusion, being fairly risk averse, Purdy’s preference is always going to be to find an alternative route if she comes across a flooded stretch of road. If your decision it to drive through the flood hopefully her blog has given you a few helpful tips?


1 Comment

  • we don’t have alternate routes in Pakistan and have to take the risk of flooded road. Most of the times the car makes through.

So, what do you think?