Did you know that flood water deeper than 30cm is enough to move a car?

The Environment Agency and the AA strongly advise not entering flood water that is moving or more than 10cm deep. A third of flood-related deaths involve a vehicle because drivers take unnecessary risks.

Dangers of flood water

  • Flood water is dangerous, dirty and it can carry disease.
  • Three-quarters of cars that get stuck are written-off as it only takes a tiny amount of ingested water to wreck the engine.
  • Flood water can mask all manner of hazards, for example open manholes, and just one foot or 30 centimetres of moving water can float your car.
  • If there is widespread flooding in your area then don’t travel and if a road is closed then turn around and make a detour. Your journey could take you a little longer but making the right decision could ultimately save your life.

Survey reveals that over half of UK drivers would risk crossing dangerous flood water

A recent Environment Agency and AA survey found that:

  • more than two-fifths (42%) of drivers would blindly follow the vehicle in front if it had crossed a flooded road successfully
  • the equivalent of 680,000 drivers would ignore a ‘road closed’ warning sign and drive down a flooded road rather than take a short detour – this is dangerous, an offence and insurers could reject any flood damage claim
  • people aged between 55 and 64 are most likely to risk driving through the deepest flowing flood water (up to 34cm)
  • men would attempt to drive through deeper water (up to 34cm) than women (up to 27cm)
  • those living in North East England would attempt to drive through deeper water (up to 34cm) than anywhere else in the UK.

More information

For more information and advice about flooding, see the Flood section on the Environment Agency's website.

Page owner: Vanessa de Chazal. Last updated: 26/05/2015 15:55