flood warning sign

Flood Season is Here Again

Take care when driving through flood water

It’s raining heavily out there so we will have to brave the weather on our driving lessons. Never fear, there is always something new to learn driving instructors nottingham floodsand wet roads just add to the challenge. Let’s have a look at what you can do to drive on flooded roads safely.

First thing to do is remain calm. When the rain is pounding down on to the roof of your car it can make a lot of noise. If you are learning to drive it can mask the noise of the engine making moving off more difficult. Add to this the movement of the windscreen wipers and the blowing of the demisters and things can seem quite scary.

If you come across large pools of water on the road pull up and try to determine how deep the water might be. If you know the area it can be easy to guess how deep it is, otherwise look for clues before you try to drive through. Believe it or not a car will float in about two feet of water and then you’ll have no control whatsoever. The car door is only about six inches above the ground so any deeper than this and you might get water seeping in and damaging the carpets. If the water is flowing at speed it will need to be even more shallow to avoid danger.

The water will be at it’s most shallow at the centre line of the road. This is higher than it is at the kerb for drainage purposes, often referred to as the camber. If you’ve got oncoming traffic then it would be difficult to drive up the middle of the road so check the water is not too deep at the kerb.

Pouring rain on driving lessons.

Drivers of large 4×4 vehicles need to spare a thought for those of us in cars. Driving through water at speed creates a bow wave which can cause real problems for smaller vehicles. Try to bear this in mind when you’re piling on through unhindered. Keep your speed down so you don’t cause a wave.

Keep your engine revs high when driving through water and the vehicle speed low by slipping the clutch. Doing this stops water from going down the exhaust pipe and choking the engine causing the car to stall. This is a bit of a challenge for a learner driver who may have difficulty controlling the clutch bite for any length of time. Could be time to use the dual controls if you’re a driving instructor.

A lot of driving instructors will work in areas prone to flooding and should be able to teach you these techniques. I was on a lesson in Lowdham during a heavy shower and the rural roads were flooding as the lesson went on. It made for an interesting learning experience. Brakes don’t work so well when they are wet so dry them off once you are through the water. This is best done with the left foot gently pressing the brake pedal as the car is being driven. Once the braking is restored you’re home and dry.

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