The storms of the past fortnight have left roads across the Reading area submerged and sites including the Loddon Bridge park and ride at Winnersh closed until further notice.
Drivers, particularly if they are on unfamiliar territory, are likely to come across flooded roads they are not expecting and Maxine Tighe, head of motor claims at AXA UK, said: “The ground is saturated and water levels in rivers are high, accentuating the risk of flooding.”
She added: “Our advice is always to avoid driving in severe weather conditions, but if it is absolutely necessary, make sure you are well prepared before setting off.”
Her top tips to avoid problems include:
- Make sure your windscreen wipers aren’t worn or damaged – and working properly.
- Make sure your lights, including your fog lights are working properly.
- Double the distance between you and the car in front – your stopping distance in wet weather is longer.
- Don’t drive fast through standing water – you could lose steering control.
- If you break down in the rain, don’t leave your bonnet open while waiting for the breakdown service – a damp engine is harder to start again.
- If you can’t see the road, you don’t know how deep the water is. Drive slowly through deeper water and use a lower gear to keep your revs high.
- Don’t drive over bridges or fords where there is a danger your vehicle could be washed away or hit by other objects in the flowing water.
Mrs Tighe added: “Make sure you have extra layers for warmth, that you have a hazard light, as well as a full tank of petrol.
“Crucially, make sure your mobile phone has plenty of battery before setting out and save the contact details for your breakdown service in it also.”