Added: 28 November 2018

Winter brings with it some unique challenges for drivers. With this in mind, GEM road safety officer Neil Worth has answered some frequently asked questions on how to drive safely in times of flooding...

What’s the maximum depth of water I can drive through safely?

Driving through any depth of water can be dangerous. Just six inches will reach the bottom of most passenger cars. Above this depth you can lose control or stall the engine, as water can be sucked into the exhaust or washed into the air intake.

How can I reduce the risk of stalling?

If you are driving a manual car, press the clutch down slightly at the same time as pressing the accelerator. This will help the car move along slowly and should keep water out of the exhaust pipe. Stay in the same gear throughout the flood.

In an automatic car, you can consider keeping your foot on the accelerator while using your lowest gear, but control the speed with your footbrake.

What if I stall in a flood?

Don’t attempt to restart the engine as you will risk severe damage. You’ll need to remove the injectors or plugs to get rid of any water - so the best thing to do is to get out of your vehicle and wade to higher ground, especially if the water is rising - then call your breakdown recovery provider.

What should I do when I’m through a flood?

You’ll need to make sure your brakes are effective - dry them by applying them gently and taking it easy for a few miles after the flood.

Remember, at Day’s Motor Group, we often share hints and tips on how you can improve your driving skills and be better prepared for different weather conditions. Most recently, we shared some top tips on how to drive in heavy rain and advice on driving in wintry weather.

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