The AA dealt with almost 9,000 cases of damaged and stranded vehicles after being driven through flood waters
Over half of UK motorists would drive through moving flood water, endangering themselves and their vehicles, according to research from the AA and the Environment Agency.
The survey of 21,165 AA members revealed that 54% would risk driving through a flooded section of road and 27% said they would still take the risk even if the water was 30cm or more deep – enough to move a car.
Last year the AA tended to almost 9,000 vehicles that had driven through or become stuck in flood water, costing the insurance industry an estimated £34m.
The survey also discovered that men would drive through deeper water (up to 34cm) than women (up to 27cm) and that the problem was most prominent in the North East of England.
The AA’s head of the flood rescue team Darron Burness said: “The 9,000 vehicles driven into flood water that the AA attended last year tell only half the story. There are thousands of other drivers who, perhaps unwittingly, came so close to coming a cropper.
“Three-quarters of cars that get stuck are written off, as it only takes a tiny amount of ingested water to wreck the engine.“
Environment Agency head of flood strategy Phil Rothwell said: “Tragically people die because they’ve taken risks and attempted to drive through flood water just to save a few minutes.
“Flood water is dangerous, dirty and it can carry disease.”