June 25, 2012 19:00 ET

Swinton Van Prepares Drivers for Flash Floods Following Wet Weather Warning

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - June 25, 2012) - With the Met Office issuing an amber warning for rain for many parts of the UK and recent reports suggesting that the UK's summer could be one of the wettest on record, Swinton the UK's leading van insurance broker is urging van drivers to be prepared for hazardous driving conditions over the coming days and months.

Van drivers notoriously spend more time on the road compared to other road users, and with many commercial vans carrying heavy goods and tools, there is an increased risk that the vehicle could skid or aquaplane in very wet conditions. If a van starts to skid, the best thing to do is to ease off the gas and wait for the van to gradually slow down.

Flash flooding can also cause problems in very wet conditions due to rivers, canals and even drains overflowing. Van drivers should remember to never drive through water with a fast moving current as this could result in losing control of the van and it being swept away.

Deep standing water on roads can cause significant damage to engines if water is sucked through the combustion chamber, causing the engine to flood. This could not only cause a van to break down but it could also result in the owner of the vehicle having to pay high costs to repair the damage.

Swinton Van has some top tips to help drivers make it through the rainy days:

  • Double the space between the vehicle in front as wet roads can require a longer breaking distance

  • Reduce speed to accommodate for the amount of water on the roads - the slower the speed the more control the driver will have over the van

  • Turn on headlights to make the van more visible to other road users as torrential rain can significantly reduce visibility

  • Never drive through standing water unless the driver knows how deep the water is - risking it could result in the van breaking down in the middle of a flooded road

  • In light of a breakdown in very wet conditions, refrain from lifting the bonnet as this could make it more difficult for engineers to repair engines if electrical parts are wet or damp

Phil Moss, Commercial Vehicle Manager at Swinton said: "Even though it's British summer time, we're still experiencing some very abnormal weather. Flooding that has hit many parts of the UK is causing havoc on our roads and can increase the risk of road accidents. Van drivers should remain cautious when driving in such conditions as any collisions or damage to their vehicle could result in costly repair works and could cause van insurance premium to rise."

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