Flood, sweat and tears: the facts about flooding

AA flood campaign

Published 28 April 2021
Last updated 28 April 2021

In this article we explore flooding and the effects it can have on your journey.

We’re used to rain, right? Living in the UK, it sometimes feels like the downpour will never end and we need to start building that Ark.

Well, we’re now in the wettest period of the year (October to January), so it’s time to talk about how to drive when there are floods.

What you need to know

The Environment Agency is the expert on flooding and how it can affect our driving. So let’s look at some of the information they’ve gathered.

  • Driving through flood water is the number 1 cause of death during flooding
  • Just 30cm of moving water is enough to float a car
  • It only takes an eggcup of water to wreck your engine

Surprised? It’s mad that just an eggcup of water can ruin your engine! And who knew that 30cm of water can float a car? That’s only up to the height of the average person’s mid-calf.

And it’s just plain scary that driving through flood water is the number one cause of death when there are floods. It goes to show the power of water, and how important it is to understand what to do during a flood.

Our driving advice

Never drive through flood water. Turn around and find another route.

A survey by the AA tells us that 74% of people would drive through a flood, despite the risk to life. So only 1 in 4 of us would take the safe option of avoiding the water.

In recent floods, the emergency services have rescued people from car roofs and from submerged vehicles. But they were the lucky ones.

Don’t try to judge the height or flow of the water by where it comes to at the kerb, as it can be deceptively deep. And don’t think it’s safe to drive through a flood just because someone else has. Find another way to get to your destination, or turn around and go home.

Flood Action Week

The Environment Agency will be running a Flood Action Week campaign in England from 9 to 15 November. They’ll help people to understand the risks of flooding and how to stay safe, including while they’re driving.

Follow @EnvAgency on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Stay dry and stay safe.

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