Motorist flood advice

Flooding poses a real risk to road users and even if you are not living in a flood area, you may encounter flooding hazards on your travels. But you can prepare yourself with a few key hints and tips:

Avoid travelling in flood water

  • Avoid travel but if you must, drive slowly and cautiously. Only drive down a flooded road if you know how deep the water is. You may know your local roads very well, but a flood can alter the landscape dramatically and turn a quiet road into a potential hazard. It only takes an egg cup-full of water to get into the air intake of your car to ruin the engine. Diesel and turbo-charged cars are particularly susceptible to this kind of damage.
  • Do not drive down closed roads.
  • Let someone know your travel plans.
  • Don’t drive through water if you can’t tell how deep it is. Around two feet of water is all it takes to float many cars. If you can't tell how deep the water is, back up and find an alternative route.

Be aware of flood specific precautions

  • 32% of flood-related deaths are by drowning in a vehicle (source: The AA, October 2012). If your car stalls in the water, do not attempt to recover it – leave it and move yourself to safe ground.
  • Park on higher ground, if you live in an area under flood warning, move your car to another location, preferably on higher ground.
  • Tune in - listen to the weather reports and flood alerts – make sure you know where the affected areas might be, and where the impassable routes are located.

Driving in a flood requires a great deal of caution

Aquaplaning is much more likely in flood conditions.

  • Drive slowly to avoid creating a wave, which will raise the level of the water and make it more likely to flood your car, but keep your revs up.
  • If another car is driving towards you and creating a wave, stop and switch off your engine before it hits you. Wait for the water to calm, and then carry on.

If your car needs to be left in flooded waters

  • If you think there is a danger of your car succumbing to rising waters, take important documents, like your logbook (V5C) and insurance details out of the car and store them somewhere safe.
  • If your vehicle has been left in standing water and due to the electrical systems being located under the seats and floors of most cars, flood damage to cars is likely to result in an expensive rebuild. The best course of action is to check your policy, and contact us.