12 of the AA's top 20 flood rescue hotspots are at fords
The Environment Agency and the AA are urging drivers to be #floodaware as a survey shows that despite the wettest winter on record last year, more than two thirds of men and half of women would still risk driving through flood water
All of the AA’s top 20 flood rescue spots are in England, with 12 of them located at fords.
A joint survey by the Environment Agency and the AA reveals that despite the wettest winter on record more than 60% of UK drivers – 20 million in total – would still risk an accident by driving through flood water.
Serious accidents occur each year by drivers taking unnecessary risks and going ahead with a journey despite Environment Agency flood warnings. It is important to check flood risk information for your entire route before setting out.
The ford on Rufford Lane in Newark, Nottinghamshire, with 96 flood-related rescues in five years, has been named the number one flood-accident hot spot in the UK. Other locations with multiple rescues include Water Gate Lane in Leicester and the ford in Bucklebury in Berkshire.
The survey of more than 19,000 AA members, carried out by Populus also found that:
Just because it's a designated crossing point, don’t assume that a ford is always safe to cross
Darron Burness, head of the AA’s flood rescue team, said: “During last winter, which was the wettest on record, we alone attended around 4,400 flood-related call-outs but many were completely avoidable.
“Some people don’t fully appreciate the dangers posed by flood water.
Fords catch a lot of people out
“Fords catch a lot of people out. Just because it’s a designated crossing point, don’t assume that a ford is always safe to cross – the depth of the water and its flow rate can quickly change with the weather.
“Just one foot or 30 centimetres of moving water can float your car, so if you’re at all unsure of the conditions, turn round rather than risk your vehicle being swept down river.”
It can be hard to tell what hazards lie beneath flood water, but more often than not there's a lot of misery and a much longer delay than a well planned detour
John Curtin, EA director of incident management
John Curtin, director of incident management and resilience at the Environment Agency, said: “Too many drivers end up putting themselves in danger – and potentially those who come to their rescue – by taking unnecessary risks during flooding.
"It can be hard to tell what hazards lie beneath flood water, but more often than not there's a lot of misery and a much longer delay than a well planned detour.
"We need drivers to check the flood risk for their entire route before they travel. Our flood warning information on GOV.UK is updated every 15 minutes and can help anyone plan a safe journey.”
AA/Environment Agency flood rescue infographic
(13 November 2014)
The AA-Populus survey of 19,303 adults was undertaken between 15 and 21 October 2014. Populus www.populus.co.uk is a founder member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
The figure of 20million UK drivers that would risk driving through flood water has been calculated based on the percentages in the survey being applied to the total number of driving licence holders in the UK, which currently stands at around 34 million.