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More Than Half Of UK Drivers Are Willing To Take Risks

AA/Environment Agency Study Shows One-Third Of Flood-Related Deaths Involve A Vehicle


A significant number of motorists are willing to take risks when driving on flooded roads, a new report has suggested.

Research conducted by the AA and the Environment Agency showed 54 per cent of people would attempt to wade through moving flood water in their vehicle.

Head of the AA's flood rescue team Darron Burness said the organisation helped 9,000 customers who had driven into deep water last year and he feels many Britons do not appreciate how dangerous this can be.

"You're also putting yourself at risk as flood water can mask all manner of hazards, for example open manholes, and just one foot or 30 cm of moving water can float your car," he commented.

"Moving flood water, particularly, is powerful, relentless and deceptively dangerous, so just stay out."

He also pointed to statistics that confirmed one-third of all flood-related deaths involve a vehicle and more often than not, fatalities occur when somebody has taken an unnecessary risk.

The latest figures published by the Department for Transport revealed that 23,530 drivers were killed or seriously injured in accidents on British roads in the 12 months ending June 2013.

Although this represented a five per cent reduction on the previous year, it is clear that too many motorists have a poor attitude towards road safety.

The AA/Environment Agency report found 680,000 drivers would ignore a 'road closed' sign and will happily risk travelling through flood water in order to cut some time off their journey.

In addition to this, 42 per cent of motorists would blindly follow the vehicle in front, even if they were aware that the road ahead was dangerous.

Perhaps surprisingly, it is the most experienced drivers who are most likely to put themselves and other road users at risk. More people aged between 55 and 64 said they would see no problem in driving through water that was up to 34 cm deep.

On a regional basis, the study discovered that motorists in the north-east of England have the most haphazard attitude towards driving in dangerous conditions.

Expert Opinion
The statistics seen here make for a worrying read and speak for themselves in saying people should stop taking dangerous risks. It seems that the more experienced driver is prone to challenge flood waters but if the flow is deep and powerful enough it won’t matter if you have been driving fifteen days or fifteen years.

“Road signs highlighting closures or dangers are put in place for public safety, if they are not followed then you face the consequences which in some circumstances could be serious and even fatal.

“Our experts have helped many people involved in car accidents to come to terms with serious life-changing injuries with the appropriate rehabilitation treatment and care.

“People need to be more vigilant towards road safety and the warnings that are in place, highlighting dangers, to reduce the amount of incidents in future.”

Stephen Nye, Partner