After days of glorious weather and heatwave sunshine, many parts of the UK are set to be battered by rain from today.

Across the North West, there is a yellow weather warning in place for thunderstorms and heavy rain.

The Met Office has warned that the wet weather could lead to flooding and transport disruption.

This could spell trouble for drivers who have to navigate the rainy weather safely- and without damaging their vehicle.

Luckily, vehicle leasing company Vanarama have pulled together seven tips for safely driving through standing water.

Andy Alderson, CEO, and Founder of Vanarama said: “It’s important that drivers properly prepare themselves to drive in such intimidating circumstances as if not, they could not only put themselves at risk of danger, but other road users, too. 

“Ideally, motorists should look for alternative routes that don’t require them to drive through water, however, should this not be possible, they should drive slowly whilst reacting to situations quickly. I’d also suggest having a mobile phone with you on a full charge in case you need to ring someone in an emergency.”

Here’s everything you know about the North West’s yellow weather warning- including how to safely navigate your vehicle through water in the event of a flood.


What to expect with the yellow weather warning:

According to the Met Office, this is what the current yellow weather warning could mean:

  • Spray and sudden flooding could lead to difficult driving conditions and possibly some road closures
  • Where flooding or lightning strikes occur, there is a chance of delays and some cancellations to train and bus services
  • There is a small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded quickly, with damage to some buildings from floodwater or lightning strikes

Seven tips for driving safely through standing water

  1. Never drive through fast-flowing water as your car will float

Whilst modern vehicles door seals or good and should keep water out, often, this makes your car buoyant. In fact, the average modern sized family car can float when water is only 30cm deep.

Unless you’re driving a 4x4, the maximum depth of water the standard car could drive through is 10cm, which is about a third of your wheel height.

So, make sure to never drive through water deeper than this. It’s better to find an alternative route that adds ten minutes onto your drive than have your car float away. 


  1. Drive down the middle of the road

Most roads dip down either side so that water can flow down into drains, so naturally, the highest point of a road is in the middle.

You should, therefore, drive down the middle of the road (if it is safe to) whilst taking it in turns to let oncoming vehicles pass. 


  1. Drive slowly and NEVER splash a passenger (even by accident) 

Always make sure to drive through flood water safely – sticking to first and second gear and around the speed of 3-4mph.

If you drive too fast not only will tyres make lose their contact with the road but you could also splash a passenger which is illegal, and can cost you £150 in fines and three penalty points. 


  1. Don’t stop moving

Keeping your vehicle moving is one of the most tips when driving through a floor. Bringing your vehicle to a halt whilst crossing deep water can allow it to enter your exhaust pipe.

In fact, filling this up with just a mere egg cup full of water is enough to break it. However, if you do have to make an unwanted stop, keep revving your engine to reduce the likelihood of your car seizing as it is stationary. 


  1. Use shaving cream to prepare your windscreen from misting up

To ensure that your windscreen doesn’t mist up, and make your driving conditions even more difficult, you just need shaving cream to create a protective barrier.

Before you set off, take a clean towel and add a dollop of shaving cream before using this to wipe the windscreen. Then take another clean towel and wipe off the shaving foam. 


  1. Immediately dry your brakes once you’ve moved through the water

Once you’ve made your way through the water, you should dry your brakes so that you don’t spin out.

The Highway Code also states that stopping distances will be at least double in wet weather because your tyres have less grip on the road, so your brakes must work.

To dry them, brake lightly whilst driving very slowly in a safe place. 


  1. If you get stuck in your car, push the door open with both legs

When a car is stuck in water, it’s always safer to try and ditch a water-logged car and walk to the dry ground than try to attempt it in a submerged car.

However, the force of the water outside of your car is much stronger than you may think – making it extremely difficult to open your car.

If this were to happen, the first thing you should do is use both legs to try and push the door open. 

If this does not work, use a blunt heavy item, such as the headrest, to break one of the side windows. Never attempt to break the windscreen as this is harder to break and more expensive to replace.