SERP partner warns of risks of driving through floodwater

driving-in-floodsSERP partner Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is urging motorists not to risk their lives by driving into floodwater.

Every year the Service rescues dozens of motorists who find themselves trapped after driving into floodwater on the roads. These drivers risk their own lives and those of their passengers, and also tie up fire crews and rescue teams who could be needed elsewhere.

Divisional Officer Greg Keys said: “It is vital that motorists exercise a little common sense. Driving into water and hoping for the best is not an option, by the time you find out the water is too deep you are already trapped.

“Just a foot or two of water is enough to float a car and six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars. This depth can cause loss of control or possible stalling as water is sucked into the exhaust or washes into the air intake.

“When confronted with floodwater the best thing to do is to find an alternative route. If there is no way round they should park safely and allow the water level to drop until it is safe to drive.

“Taking a risk can be both dangerous and costly. You and your passengers could easily be swept away in water and once you are rescued the car will have suffered extensive damage which will be complex and costly to repair.”

The SERP website gives comprehensive advice, provided by Highways England, about driving in winter conditions including floods and heavy rain.

The advice also covers the items required for an emergency kit; checking the latest traffic and weather news; driving on snow and ice, and through fog and strong winds.

5 January 2016

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