Top tips for driving in a flood

Driving in flooded conditions can be very dangerous, so we’ve put together some help and guidance on how to prepare for driving in a flood.

Driving in poor visibility

The Highway Code states that you must use your headlights when visibility is seriously reduced. This is generally when you cannot see for more than 100 metres.

You should also replace worn windscreen wipers if you feel they are not clearing your front and back windscreens effectively.

Reduce your speed

Driving in floods can increase the distance you need to stop when braking. You should try to double the distance you leave between your vehicle car and the vehicle in front of you when driving in very wet road conditions.

If your steering becomes less responsive, reduce your speed and slow down gradually.

Standing water

Try to avoid driving through standing water. If you have to drive through it slow down first.

Driving fast through standing water can cause expensive damage to your vehicle. The air intake on many cars is low at the front and it could take just a small amount of water to be sucked into the engine to cause damage.

All engines are affected but turbo-charged and diesel engines are most vulnerable.

Deep and fast moving water

When roads are flooded, it can be difficult to tell how deep the standing water is. Drive slowly and steadily and test your brakes as soon as you can after leaving the water.

Don't try driving through fast-moving water. You should never under estimate the speed of the water as there is a chance your vehicle could be swept away.

If you break down in a flood

If you break down in heavy rain don't prop the bonnet open while you wait for help. The engine will be more difficult to start again if the electrics are wet.

Remember that you can add breakdown cover onto your car insurance. Call 0330 100 7823 for more information, or if you have breakdown cover already, call 0330 102 3621 for help.

Flooding help and claims

If you’re affected by floods and need some help and advice on making a claim, we are here to help, 24 hours a day. MORE TH>N Claims Helplines are available 24 hours for customers.

Before you make a claim, please make sure you have your policy schedule and as many details of the damage as possible to hand, as these will speed up your claim.

You can call us free on 0800 300 252 or go to our make a car claim page.

Originally published on 22/07/2013.

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