The great British summer; one week it’s record high temperatures the next it’s a total wash out.
Flash flooding can happen any time and anywhere thanks to rain, blocked drains, damaged water mains, tides or burst river banks.
Last year, the AA rescued almost 9,000 vehicles that had driven through or were stuck in floodwater, with an estimated insurance bill of more than £34 million.
So to help keep you and your taxi safely on the road in heavy rain or localised flooding, here’s Patons top tips:
- Use dipped headlights so that other drivers can see you more easily
- Don’t use rear fog lights – they can mask your brake lights and dazzle drivers behind you
- Slow down and leave twice as much space between you and the car in front – it takes longer to stop in the wet
- Remember to keep your air conditioning on, as this will stop your windows from misting up
- If your steering suddenly feels light you could be aquaplaning. To regain grip, ease off the accelerator, do not brake and allow your speed to reduce until you gain full control again
Floods and standing water
- Try to avoid driving through standing water that’s over six inches deep, find another route if you can
- Don’t drive into flood water that’s moving or more than four inches deep
- Drive slowly and steadily as you enter the water so you don’t make a bow wave
- Stay in first gear, keep the revs up and stay on the crown of the road
- When you emerge from the water dry your brakes by using them gently
Remember: if you have an accident you might lose money waiting for your vehicle to be repaired, and it will force your taxi insurance premiums to go up. Stay safe, whatever the weather, and plan ahead.