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Haynes gives advice on dealing with bad weather

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: January 08, 2014

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Numerous flood warnings remain in place across Britain, and with people back at work and back on the roads, Haynes Manuals has issued key advice to keep motorists safe.

Three severe flood warnings – meaning “danger to life” – have been issued for Dorset, along with more than 120 lower-level warnings in England and Wales.

With surface water covering roads and heavy rain making driving hazardous, Haynes Manuals has offered the following tips:

Check routes before you travel. Both the MET Office and BBC Weather websites include detailed information about the main problem areas across the UK. Check that your routes are clear, especially if you are driving somewhere new.

Prepare for the worst. Ensure that you have a full tank of fuel, your charged mobile phone, some warm clothes and something to eat and drink as these could prove vital if you do break down or get stranded.

Ensure your car is in good condition before you set off. Check that your battery is charged, your lights are working, your windows are clean, your screen wash is full, your tyres in good condition and tyre pressures correct before you start your journey. And make sure you have enough fuel!

Be cautious when driving through water. Use your judgement when faced with standing water, and only tackle anything larger than a big puddle if you have local knowledge and a suitable vehicle. If the water is deep then you are strongly advised to find an alternative route. Quite apart from the risk of getting swept away, flood water can cause severe damage to the engine which may need to be replaced and could cost thousands. If you decide that the water is shallow enough to drive through then take it slowly and test your brakes once you are out of the water.

Drive safely. Driving in strong wind & rain can be extremely hazardous, so use caution. Leave adequate distance between cars, and don’t go too fast. Beware of the possibility of aquaplaning – if your steering goes light then easing off the accelerator should help you to regain control.

Matthew Minter, Editorial Director at Haynes Publishing says:

“Stormy conditions put extra strain on car and driver alike, so preparing in advance is highly recommended to keep drivers and passengers safe on UK roads.

“Check the tyres, the lights, the wipers and the battery, but most importantly drive safely. Conditions across the UK are extremely treacherous, with heavy wind and rain causing a number of issues including a large amount of surface water, so it is essential that drivers take proper care and pay attention to the road.

“If conditions are really bad, then consider whether your journey is necessary. If it is then make sure you tell someone where you’re going and what time you expect to arrive.”

Haynes Manuals have been helping motorists perform these simple tasks and many more for over 50 years. Haynes has now launched its top 150 UK car and motorcycle manuals online, so you can now access service and repair information on your PC, laptop or smart phone.

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