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Flash Floods - Advice for Drivers

Friday, 8 August 2008

Considering all the bad weather we have experienced over the past months, it is recommended that the following article from 08/08/2008 be re-read if we are to continue driving safely in wet conditions.

With so much rain this summer, there is a possibility of flash floods which could pose problems for drivers, says the IAM (Institute of advanced Motorists). The IAM has issued advice to motorists who may have to handle torrential rain, poor driving visibility, difficult car control, slippery road surfaces and increased stopping distances.

The IAM advice for motorists considering driving in flood conditions is:

* Make the journey only if it is unavoidable

* Don't drive through deep water: consider an alternative route

* If you have to drive through deep water, drive in the highest section of the road and don't set off if a vehicle is travelling in the opposite direction. Leave time and space for each other, so you don''t swamp someone else. Drive slowly and keep going once you have started - make sure you have a clear run, keep the revs high by "slipping the clutch" (which means the clutch is not fully engaged) all the time you are in the water.

* Under no circumstances take your foot off the accelerator, as this could allow water to travel up the exhaust pipe.

* Once you're out the water, dry the brakes before you need them - the best way is to lightly apply the brake as you drive along for a few seconds. This is particularly important if your car has drum brakes.

* When roads are slippery it will take longer to stop. So drop your speed and give yourself more time to slow down.

* Don't forget to close your windows!

* During heavy rain visibility will be lower, make a point of turning on your headlights whenever you need to use your windscreen wipers.