Sunday, 16 February 2014

Flooding Facts - How they affect you as a Motorist

Flooding the Facts

Richard Yarrow is a freelance journalist who edits the AA’s customer magazine - you can can see the latest issue here. There’s a feature written in conjunction with the Environment Agency (EA), about the dangers that flooding can present drivers.

In commenting about the article he said:

"Clearly we got the timing bang on and the advice has proved more appropriate than we could ever have imagined. The horror of what’s been on TV since Christmas can only be imagined and thankfully loss of life seems minimal.

"In writing the feature, the EA supplied me some flooding facts – stuff I hadn’t really appreciated. For example, just 30cm of flowing water can be enough to move the average family car. Double it to 60cm and that same vehicle will simply float away."

Here’s a few more scary ones for you: 
  • An egg-cup of water in your engine’s cylinders can be enough to wreck it.
  •  If the speed of flood water doubles, the force it exerts on you and your car quadruples.
  • A third of flood-related deaths involve people drowning in a vehicle.
  • Fast-flowing water that’s just 15cm deep can be enough to knock you off your feet.
  • In water that’s waist high, a flow rate of one metre per second mean you will struggle to stay upright. Double it, and you and everyone else will be washed off their feet.

Richard added some recent personal experience:
"I live in Suffolk, a long way from any of the badly affected areas of the UK. Yet even some of our relatively flat roads – particularly where there are low points close to fields – are currently flooded.

"What has amazed me most is the number of motorists who I’ve witnessed just driving straight through, barely pausing to change down a gear. I've got a full-sized seven-seat SUV and I’ve thought twice about going through a couple of the larger ones. I certainly wouldn’t venture into moving water.

"Needless to say, I’ve seen a couple of abandoned cars. Unsurprisingly, they were of a type where the owners had no business being there. Why would you drive through something more than a foot deep in a supermini? What were these people thinking?!

"Clearly it never dawned on them. A survey commissioned by the AA and EA found 54 per cent of people would drive through moving flood water, potentially risking their lives. Equally worryingly, 42 per cent said they would blindly follow the vehicle in front if it had got through successfully."

The information you need to avoid becoming a victim of flooding is here.

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