Advice on Driving Through Floods and Standing Water

Second Hand WAV vehicles Suffolk – from Ransome Mobility

One of the biggest problems motorists have faced in recent months – not just in Suffolk and other parts of East Anglia, but across the UK – has been the amount of floodwater on the roads. In some cases, this has been an issue since October, when Storm Babet struck the UK; subsequent heavy rain has brought no respite and drivers are having to take extra care.

Some disabled motorists are particularly vulnerable in situations like these, as their lack of mobility can create extra problems should they need to be rescued. So here Ransome Mobility, who provide second hand WAV vehicles from our base in Suffolk, provide some top tips for driving in floods and standing water.


Stick to the Middle of the Road

If you are approaching standing water in the road (whichever side it’s on) then try to drive in the middle of the road if possible – the natural camber means that any floodwater should be at its shallowest there. However, be prepared to let oncoming vehicles pass first (this may also provide be a good gauge of the depth and how safe it is to drive through).

The basic rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t drive through any water which is either moving or more than 4ins (10cm) deep, says the AA, otherwise you risk damaging your vehicle. If there are no oncoming vehicles, park up before the water anyway and try to check the depth yourself. (Some roads which flood frequently have depth gauges; it may be worth walking through the water if you have appropriate footwear such as Wellington boots).


Driving Tips

If you think the water is safe to drive through, approach it slowly and steadily in a low gear – you don’t want to go too fast as this could create a bow wave, damaging nearby properties and wildlife. However, you don’t want to go slow down either; try to avoid any gear changes when traveling through water, as this could lead to water being sucked into the exhaust.

If you do get stuck, it’s probably best to wait in your vehicle; this is particularly true if you are disabled. Then call for help (so make sure you have your mobile with you).


If Possible, Don’t Do It!

Flooding can cause serious long-term damage to your car, so only drive through floodwater if you are sure that’s it’s safe to do so, and only if it’s an essential journey. Your vehicle’s electrics are particularly vulnerable to water damage, and there may be unforeseen side-effects – the AA points out that your airbag could end up inflating for no good reason. The brakes and the fuel tank are other areas which could be affected.

And remember, you could be fined, and receive points on your licence, if you drive through a flooded road and lose control of your vehicle.

So, make sure there are no alternative routes (check the traffic and local news websites for news of any flooding). As well as having your mobile phone with you, pack some food and drink in case of emergencies.


What to Do Afterwards

When you are well clear of the water – and bear in mind there may be other vehicles behind you – check your vehicle for damage. Try the brakes to ensure they are working properly. Also check the dipstick in the oil tank; if it is loose, or no longer in its tube, or there is fluid over the oil line, then you will probably have some water damage to the engine and you should get it looked at as soon as possible.

If water has got inside the vehicle, open the doors and windows to let plenty of air in to get rid of any smells.


Second Hand WAV Vehicles in Suffolk from Ransome Mobility

At Ransome Mobility we sell nearly-new and used WAVs (to see what we currently have in stock, follow this link) and we keep them in excellent condition as well. Most of our vehicles come with very low mileage, are between one and three years old and are all prepared to the highest standards before going on sale. All our vehicles will be fully serviced and receive a full MOT, if required, before it is handed over. All vehicles are sold with a six-month warranty as a minimum.

If you can’t find what you are looking for there – and bear in mind, we can fit many different types of car adaptation for customers across East Anglia – call us on 01473 727263 and we will be happy to look at it for you.

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