1. ITV Report

Drivers warned to take extra care on flooded roads

Drivers are being urged to take extra care on motorways and major A roads this morning as heavy rain and flooding continue to affect driving conditions.

Flood warnings and flood alerts are in place across the south.

Highways England and its contractors say they are working around the clock to remove water and clear drains, and help keep traffic moving.

Torrential rain has caused severe flooding in Wiltshire Credit: ITV News

Drivers are advised to check road conditions and the weather forecast before setting out and when travelling to listen to radio travel bulletins and to drive with additional care.

A car in Swindon had to be towed from floodwater Credit: ITV News

The Met Office offers the following advice for driving in rain and wind:

  • If you can, choose main roads, where you are less likely to be exposed to fallen branches and debris and flooding.
  • Use dipped headlights if visibility is significantly reduced.
  • Gusts of wind can unsettle vehicles – grip your steering wheel firmly with both hands. This is particularly important when planning to overtake.
  • Keep 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 sideways.
  • Roads 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 front.
  • Keep 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.
  • On flooded roads, think before driving through deep water; don’t stop in standing water, and drive through the highest section of the road slowly. If there is any doubt don’t enter it.
  • Once you have managed to drive through check your brakes and dry them out as quickly as possible – a light touch of the brakes whilst still moving should do the trick.
  • Remember to give vulnerable road users including cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians more room than usual. They are more likely to be blown around by side winds – always keep a safe distance.

There are also delays of up to one hour and 30 minutes on P and O Ferries between Dover and Calais due to adverse weather conditions.