Wet Weather Advice

39 flood warnings from the Met Office

15 June 2007

With 39 flood warnings from the Met Office in force and more heavy rain forecast for this evening and tomorrow, the AA is advising motorists to be wary of flood water and only drive as fast as conditions allow.

The UK's biggest breakdown provider attended around 20 per cent more breakdowns than normal today – many weather-related – with the busiest regions being East Midlands, North West and Yorkshire.

Adam Ashmore, AA patrol of the year, says: "All drivers, including those with local knowledge, can be caught out during heavy downpours, as even the most modern road surface is still susceptible to standing water. This creates a potential aquaplaning hazard as well as significantly reducing visibility. Drivers should take it easy and if the steering does become unresponsive due to the rain, ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually. "

"If drivers come across flood water, they should only attempt to drive through if they know how deep it is and maintain a steady, slow speed to avoid creating a bow wave. It can take just an egg cupful of water in the combustion chamber to wreck an engine. Water doesn't compress and the piston in effect hits a wall, bending or breaking a con rod and possibly shattering the engine block."

Adam continues: "If you're unlucky enough to break down in heavy rain, don't prop the bonnet open while you wait for the patrol to arrive – the engine will be more difficult to start again if the electrics are all rain-soaked. Instead, pull over to a safe and visible place and wait for help to arrive."

Prepare for rain

The AA is reminding motorists to ensure they are prepared for wet weather:

  • Check your windscreen wipers before setting off, and replace if necessary - a demonstration is available on one of the AA Patrol Podcasts
  • Double the distance you leave between your car and the car in front of you, as stopping distances are increased by wet roads.
  • If steering becomes unresponsive due to the rain, ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually.
  • Only drive through water if you know how deep it is – and drive slowly and steadily to avoid creating a bow wave.
  • Driving fast through standing water is dangerous – tyres lose contact with the road and you lose steering control – and can cause expensive damage to the engine.
  • It's also inconsiderate – you could face a fine and up to nine penalty points if police think you were driving without reasonable consideration to other road users.

More seasonal driving advice

General breakdown advice


15 June 2007