Driving in Heavy Rain and Floods

Driving in heavy rain or in floods can be difficult and sometimes perilous. AA Patrol, Paddy Finn says

“All drivers, including those with local knowledge, can be caught out when driving in heavy rain, as even the most modern road surface is still susceptible to flooding. This creates a potential aquaplaning hazard as well as significantly reducing visibility.”


Reduce your speed and keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front.

Drivers should take it easy and if the steering does become unresponsive when driving in heavy rain, ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually.

Paddy warns that “The engine’s air intake on many cars is low down at the front of the car and 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. Driving fast, even if the intake’s above the water level could cause water to be ingested.”


Only drive through shallow water

If drivers come across flood water, they should only attempt to drive through if they know it’s not too deep and maintain a steady, slow speed to avoid creating a bow wave. Once you start driving through the water, keep going but only if you can see what is on the other side. Do not take your foot off the accelerator as water may get into your exhaust.

If you have to drive through standing water, drive through the centre of the road as that is the highest point.


Drive slowly through flooding

Don’t try driving through fast moving water – your car could be swept away. Driving fast through standing water is dangerous as tyres could lose contact with the road and you lose steering control. Make sure to a low gear and keep the revs high. After you have passed through the water, dry your brakes by tapping them lightly and rev the engine to clear water from your exhaust.

As always AA Roadwatch will have regular updates on road conditions and traffic issues that the weather is causing. Follow on twitter @AARoadwatch or visit theAA.ie/Roadwatch.

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