Driving through flooded roads 'risks lives', yet 3,000 rescued every year

Henry Bodkin
The AA has rescued 14,500 vehicles since 2013 - AFP

More than 3,000 drivers a year have to be rescued after getting stranded in flood water, data has revealed amid warnings that just 30cm can float a family car.

Officials have said motorists are endangering their lives as well as the safety of passengers and emergency services after a new survey by the AA indicated two-thirds would risk driving into a flooded road.

It found that 14,500 vehicles had been rescued from floods by the organisation since 2013.

Driving through flood water can also cause serious damage to the vehicle, with three-quarters of flood-damaged cars ultimately being written off, the Environment Agency said last night.

Caroline Douglas, the body’s director of incident management described the willingness to drive in flooded conditions as “extremely concerning”.

The survey found 72 per cent of men would attempt it compared to 60 per cent of female respondents.

Explained | Flood warnings

Ms Douglass urged those travelling long distances during the winter to check for flood warnings along their route.

"If you find your way blocked by flood water, never take the risk - turn around and find another way," she said.

"No one should put their own life or those of their friends and family at risk during a flood," she said.

The AA survey also reveals some of the worst spots for flooded cars in the country, with 101 rescues alone taking place in single road in Newark, Rufford Lane.

The Environment Agency is running a campaign warning people to prepare for flooding advance by signing up for warning messages.

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