Is it safe to drive today? UK traffic alerts and driving advice as flooding continues

Tuesday, 18th February 2020, 9:51 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th February 2020, 9:54 am
Storm Dennis brought wet and windy weather to the UK over the weekend, with some roads still flooded after torrential rain (Photo: Shutterstock)

Storm Dennis brought wet and windy weather to the UK over the weekend, with some roads still flooded after torrential rain.

Is it safe to drive in your area? Here’s everything you need to know.

Current traffic alerts in England due to flooding

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A38. Location : The A38 northbound between the junctions with the A513 and the A5121 Burton Upon Trent South. Reason : FloodingA38. Location : The A38 southbound between the A5121 Burton Upon Trent South and the junction with the A513. Reason : FloodingA40 Incident Severe Location : The A40 westbound. Reason : FloodingA40 Incident Severe Location : The A40 eastbound. Reason : Flooding

Current traffic incidents in Scotland

M77 J2 - J3 - Queue - NorthboundA83 Inveraray Furnace - Accident - Eastbound & WestboundM80 M8 Slip - M80 Main Carriageway- Queue- SouthboundA720 A701 (Straiton Jct) - Lasswade Jct - Queue - WestboundM74 J5 (Raith) North - slip off - Queue - NorthboundM8 J13 Between Slips - Queue - Westbound

Current traffic incidents in Wales

A40 : Both directions : Monmouth Dixton R/bout to A40 Welsh Border. Road closed : Due to Flooding. Local diversions in place.

Is it safe to drive when the road is flooded?

The Met Office explains: “If the road is flooded, turn around and find another route.

“The number one cause of death during flooding is driving through flood water, so the safest advice is turn around, don't drown.

“The public are advised to stay away from swollen rivers and not to walk or drive through flood water.

Just 12 inches (30cm) of moving water can float your car, which can potentially take it to deeper water from which you may then need rescuing.

Flood water may also contain hidden hazards which can damage your car, and just an egg-cupful of water getting sucked into your car's engine will lead to severe damage.

You should also keep an eye out for cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians.

Give vulnerable road users - including cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians - more room than usual.

These road users are more likely to be blown around by side winds, so you should always keep a safe distance.

You can sign up for free flood warnings for your area here.

Met Office advice for planning ahead when driving in rain

Even moderate rain can reduce your ability to see and be seen. A good rule of thumb is ‘if it’s time for your wipers, it’s time to slow down’If heavy downpours are expected, avoid starting your journey until it clearsIf you can, choose main roads, where you are less likely to be exposed to fallen branches and debris and floodingUse dipped headlights if visibility is seriously reducedGusts of wind can unsettle vehicles – grip your steering wheel firmly with both hands. This is particularly important when planning to overtakeKeep an eye out for gaps between trees, buildings or bridges over a river or railway – these are some of the places you are more likely to be exposed to side winds. Ensure that you maintain enough room either side of your vehicle so you can account for it being blown sidewaysRoads will be more slippery than usual in wet weather – be sure to give yourself more time to react when approaching a hazard. Increase your following gap to at least four seconds from the moving traffic in frontKeep your eyes peeled on the road at all times as spray from other vehicles can suddenly reduce your visibility. Remember it affects others too, so anticipate their actions and be prepared.