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Driving Through Floods – A Book Your Theory Test Today Guide

With winter 2014 setting in, and adverse weather conditions likely to hit the UK, Book Theory Test Today provides a guide to driving in a flood.

No amount of driving theory can fully prepare you for driving in adverse weather conditions and, barring a freak set of circumstances, neither can your practical driving test. In a season where high winds, flash floods and snow storms bombard Britain, having some idea how to drive in extreme weather conditions can help you to avoid serious, or potentially, fatal accidents.

While the majority of modern motor vehicles can endure severe floods, there are still a number of potential dangers to be wary of. Aside from electrics shorting out on petrol cars, there’s also the risk of the engine taking in water which, being incompressible, will cause it to lock solid (hydraulic lock), damaging connecting rods, pistons and even crankshafts.

Should the water be fast flowing, there is also the danger that the car could be swept away into deeper flood water with you still in the vehicle.

What should you do if you encounter a flood?

As the first course of action, Book Theory Test Today recommends evasive measures. If this is not possible, you should ensure that there is not more than six inches of standing water or four inches of flowing water.

You can assess the situation by parking up and monitoring other road users attempting to negotiate the flood; this will give you an indication of how deep the water is. Be sure to look out for hidden dips and gullies as the water has the potential to be deeper in these spots.

If you decide to proceed through flood waters, Book Theory Test Today urges you to remain on the crown of the carriageway where possible and crawl slowly through the water in first gear. Maintain the engine revs by slipping the clutch if necessary, this will help to avoid water flooding the exhaust pipe. Avoid the urge to speed through the flood as this will cause water to penetrate the engine bay.

When you have successfully navigated the flood waters you should dry the brakes by applying them gently and if leaves were present in the water, Book Theory Test Today suggests that you check the radiator matrix for blockages.

Flood water figures

A joint survey conducted by the AA and the Environment Agency between October and November 2013 revealed that over half (54%) of UK motorists would risk themselves and their vehicles by attempting to navigate through flood waters.

The poll, in which 21,165 AA members participated, also uncovered that 27% of motorists would drive through flowing flood water more than 30cm deep, which is enough to see a car swept away. The AA and Environment Agency stated that they strongly recommend that motorists do not drive through flood water that is moving or more than 10cm deep.

The AA claims that approximately one-third of flood related fatalities involves a vehicle that takes unnecessary risks. In 2012, the second wettest year on record in Britain, flood waters claimed the lives of several motorists. In the same 12 month period, the AA rescued nearly 9,000 vehicles that had driven through or became stranded in flood water, equating to an estimated insurance bill exceeding £34 million.

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