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UK Flood Warning

The Met Office has warned that heavy rain is expected to flood parts of the UK today (Wednesday 21st February) which may cause travel disruption.

With damp, cold conditions comes the need to change your driving habits, according to experts at Select Car Leasing.

Graham Conway, Managing Director at Select Car Leasing provides the following advice for drivers about recklessly driving through puddles:

“Roads are almost guaranteed to be full of puddles right now, following the recent and upcoming spate of wet weather. It’s therefore imperative for drivers to know about the penalties for recklessly driving through them.

“While it could be deemed unavoidable to drive through a puddle, drivers could be hit with a £5,000 fine for speeding through them and splashing pedestrians in the process.

“According to Section Three of the Road Traffic Act of 1988, it is illegal to splash pedestrians as it equates to driving ‘without reasonable consideration for other persons’.

“Those considered to be deliberately driving through puddles and splashing pedestrians will likely be hit with a £100 fixed penalty notice, as well as three penalty points if caught by the police.

“In the worst case scenario, motorists considered to be driving in a manner that ‘amounts to a clear act of incompetence, selfishness, impatience, and aggressive’ will be hit with the maximum penalty of a £5,000 fine.

“What’s more, if for any reason drivers fail to pay the £100 fixed penalty, they are liable to face the maximum £5,000 fine if the case is taken to court.”

As well as avoid driving through puddles, Graham offers these further pieces of crucial advice when it comes to navigating the roads in wet weather:

  1. Demist windows

Graham: “Wet weather causes windows to mist-up, and clearing them can be a hassle, particularly if you’re running late. Make sure the heater settings are blasting air at the windscreen, not just into the cabin, and activate the demist button for the back windscreen. And remember that using the air conditioning will clear mist from windows much quicker than when it’s not on. That’s because the air con actually takes moisture out of the air before it’s expelled into the interior.”

  1. Go easy at junctions

“Wet weather equals more skids. With this in mind, go easy on the accelerator when you’re pulling away from junctions and roundabouts. Laying down the power can mean more wheel spin than forward momentum, and you could actually end up getting yourself in trouble if you’re giving it the beans but not actually getting very far. Find that balance between enough power, but not too much, so you can move away sharply.”

  1. Turn cruise control OFF

“If you feel yourself aquaplaning, instinct will tell you to slam on the brakes – but you need to resist that temptation. Instead, ease off the accelerator slowly, keep the steering wheel straight, and when you feel traction once more, you can brake and slow down. I’d recommend turning the cruise control mode off in really wet weather, too, as having full, manual control of the accelerator is crucial.”

  1. Fog lights

“Fog lights are designed to increase your visibility in thick fog. But you might also need to turn them on during heavy rain if visibility is ‘seriously reduced’ to 100m or less. BUT remember that fog lights can dazzle other road users and you should only use them in extreme weather – not just in drizzle or light rain. You could face a £50 on-the-spot fine for using fog lights incorrectly.”

  1. Tread carefully

“It goes without saying that your tyres should be in good condition and have a depth of tread that falls within legal guidelines – which is above 1.6mm across the middle three quarters of the tyre. Having bald tyres will greatly increase skid risk.”