Britain, at the best of times, can be a wet and windy country that is very much susceptible to flooding. It could be due to coastal surges, creaking drainage systems, and the ground that is already saturated that result in flooding – maybe even a combination of these. Flooding poses a great deal of problems to motorists who try to traverse the roads but are being held back by the water.
Cars are generally expected to cope well when driving through water. It is a fact that many o the country’s secondary roads have fords where the road crosses over a river. However, note that these have warning signs and are to be managed slowly. These are controlled environments, contrary to flooded roads that could be dangerous to vehicles and pedestrians alike.
Unfortunately, many drivers consider flooded roads as extensions of the fords.
The danger of driving through flooded roads comes in four stages. First, it starts with heavy rain, which can temporarily flood the roads as the drainage systems struggle to keep up with the sudden increase in the volume of water they are to take. During heavy rains, drivers have poor visibility and possibly, lose traction.
Next, you will be left with shallow standing water – with a depth of one centimeter or two. It may seem harmless, but this overestimation can result in the driver to speed. However, there is a point – where a wave will form in front of the tyres and the car can float like a surfboard. This is called aquaplaning, and is different for all vehicles and weather conditions. When this happens, it is likely that there will be loss of steering and braking control.
Third, is that knee-deep water looks and seems negotiable, but note that it also could provide sufficient buoyancy to lift the car and be swept away.
Lastly, another danger of flooded roads is that any road signs, markings and fences are not visible from the driver and as a result, they could end up driving in the wrong lanes, get stuck in excavation pits, and even lose their way.