Top Tips For Driving Through Water
While the snow seems to have gone, there is still a significant amount of water on the roads and spring weather continues to bring lots of showers and drizzle. For drivers, flood water and standing water can be a severe problem. With the increased water on the road, there are many considerations for drivers to keep themselves and their vehicle safe. So how can you protect yourself when there is water on the road? Here are our top tips for safe driving in wet conditions.
Best tips for wet condition driving
1. Where possible avoid
If you encounter flood water on your journey, then the safest option is to turn around and find a safer, drier route. While this may add minutes to your drive, it is much better than being a flood-related fatality or being stranded in your car in the middle of flood waters. If the water is fast moving, then avoid driving through. Your vehicle may be competent but the water can be surprisingly strong and able to wash your car downstream.
2. Increase your braking distance
Wet roads mean it will take longer to brake. You need to be conscious of how much water is on the road to reduce the risk of aquaplaning. Make sure to drive slightly slower than usual to compensate for an increase in braking distances. Remember, water on the road can turn to ice in cold weather which could increase your braking distance further. Be mindful of conditions and if in doubt, slow down.
3. Know the rules
For modern cars you need to avoid driving through six inches of standing water. For moving water, you need to avoid if there are more than four inches. For the sake of shaving a few minutes of your journey, it is not worth ruining your car. Water can destroy the electrics and the engine. Check the water depth yourself or observe other vehicles so you know the extent.
4. Drive safely
To drive through water, make sure you are at the crown of the road. Drop to first gear and accelerate very slowly (1mph) until you are in the water. Do not hit the water fast as you risk aquaplaning. Once the car is in the water accelerate to 3-4mph this creates a bow wave. Avoid making a quick exit as this will push water into the engine. Instead, take it steady and keep the engine revs up as much as possible. Once out, dry the brakes by testing them regularly and gently.