How to drive through deep water

Due, I guess, to the adverse conditions, this post – and this post are both getting hit by a large number of people Googling ‘how to drive through deep water‘.

I’ll ignore the obvious ‘stable door, bolted’.

I’ll just give you the ‘how to’ as I was taught.

* Don’t try to drive through deep water unless you absolutely have to. The chances are you will fail unless your vehicle is adequately prepared and unless you know every bump, rise and fall in the terrain you’re trying to cross.

* If you have to drive through deep water on a track or through open country look for higher ground as evidenced by tufts of grass or the surface water being broken by a line of higher ground beneath the surface.

* If you have to drive through deep water on a surfaced or metalled road the higher ground is usually in the middle.

* Halt before the water, change to first gear and open the driver’s door six inches.

* Pull forward very slowly in first gear keeping an eye out for oncoming traffic and vehicles that may approach you from behind too fast.

* Do not let your speed increase but keep the engine revs high by jockeying the clutch. Do not drive quickly.

* As you drive forwards listen through the open door to the water passing underneath the car, if you can hear water breaking as you would with waves forming, slow down. You are moving too quickly.

* If you hear a dramatic hiss where the water has risen to make contact with any part of your exhaust system and you believe the water may deepen you must retrace your tracks. A cooled exhaust system will crack and you will damage your engine as the water is sucked in to your engine block.

* Be completely aware of the path you are taking.

* Be completely aware of the level of water beneath your vehicle.

* Be completely aware of the speed of your vehicle.

* Be completely aware of your engine revs.

* When exiting the water keep your speed very slow.

* When you are sure you have left the water, close your door.

* Drive for 15 yards applying the handbrake gradually until you feel it ‘bite’ then release it.

* Drive for 15 yards applying your footbrake gradually until you feel it ‘bite’ then release it then reapply it gradually for 20 yards then release it.

* Check your electrics (lights, indicators, wipers) and if any have failed you must not continue.

* Increase your speed very gradually to give your engine pan, wheels and braking systems time to dry out.

There you go.

Giving a little something back courtesy of the Army advanced driving instructor who taught me to drive on road, snow, ice, water and oil.

And taught me a bunch of other stuff but close-order and pursuit driving aren’t part of today’s syllabus.


Forthcoming plans

On Tuesday Vin and I are probably going show jumping at Allenshill.

And on Sunday we’re probably going Combined Training, again at Allenshill.

On 19th August we’re probably going to do the Riding Club Teams combined training competition.


I really want to see the new Transformers film. I mean, I really do!

And now I have to finish writing an end to a short story.

I must.

So I’m going to do it.

Right now.

I mean.

I’ve been thinking about it for hours.

Just going to sit right down.


And write it.

Watch me.

Dum de dum de dum.

long pause.


Haven’t written it yet.

Soon though.

Any minute now.


I mean.

There’s nothing else for me to do.

I’ve wasted time doing all the usual time-wasting things.

And now I’m going to do it.

Just as soon as I’ve watched the end to Crocodile Dundee II.

And perhaps played spider solitaire.


Oh Lord, don’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz…

Now then.

I don’t believe in stereotyping.

Especially in the world of ‘you are what you drive’.

Because that would be stupid, right?


(except that two out of the three drivers who unexpectedly blocked oncoming lines of traffic – as mentioned in this post – were Mercedes drivers)

But this evening (as I correctly and prophetically thought that the drive to pick up The Lovely S might be an interesting experience) I saw one and a half Mercedes cars.

I saw the first one on the A442 at Bradford House, north of Droitwich.

At this spot the road dips down in to a deep dip.

Normally this deep dip isn’t filled with a fast-flowing torrent of flood water.

It was this evening.

And there was a police car, blue light flashing.

The police officer was telling people that the road was impassable.

But the Mercedes driver knew better.

She pulled around the police car and drove down in to the dip and forwards in to the water.

And her driving was straight out of the book of “The proper way to drive through deep water“.


She floored it and bombed through the deep water.

Tried to bomb it through the deep water.

She got thirty-five metres towards the far side; the bow-wave was washing up against the windscreen, the stern-wave would have impressed an off-shore racing yacht.

I sat there impressed at her stupidity.

And then the lights on her car went out.

The bow-wave and stern-wave collapsed.

The car lost forward motion.

The water began to settle around the Mercedes.

The driver opened the door, letting tens of gallons of water in to wash around the inside of her Mercedes (I guess her electric window opener wouldn’t work!) and called back to the policeman for assistance.

I could have sworn I heard him laugh.

Of course I might have been mistaken, I was turning my car around at the time.

The half of a Mercedes was the top half.

Of another one; abandoned.

The bottom half was submerged beneath 3′ of fast-running water.


I’m going to avoid the stereotyping statement about Mercedes drivers believing their cars are capable of floating on water.



More flooding in Worcestershire

It had to happen.

The last lot of rain has barely drained away from the land in to the local river network that is already swollen and – in a few places – overflowing.

The last 12 hours of rain has been the bridge too far.

Coming back from Droitwich at 13.30 I had to take a detour because the A38 was closed by the Morrison’s roundabout.

Water was pouring upwards out of the drains.

People were trying to drive through water levels of 2′ and over.

Three cars were abandoned across the road (in a ‘conked out’ kind of way).

I’ve declined to ride later today.

The roads are flooded and I expect even the arena is temporarily out of action until this downpour stops nd the water drains away.

Driving to Droitwich this evening to pick up The Lovely S might be an interesting experience!


Today’s big learning experience


The band.


Track called ‘High‘.

It rivals cold baked-bean and Worcestershire Sauce sandwiches* as a Truly Great Thing.

Oh yes.

* Look, I had a traumatic time as a student and this became my metaphysical crutch. And it’s a bit like having a Pot Noodle addiction; you’re never completely safe from it. Even if (like cold baked-bean and Worcestershire Sauce sandwiches) the addiction is to an excellent hangover cure. Or just a brilliant item of food stuffery. And hey… it’s veggie!


Etty-cut (up)

OK, I give in.

Can you tell me?

When did it become acceptable to cut across a lane of oncoming traffic and sit there – blocking the way – to wait for a gap in the other line of traffic?




It’s made me chuckle a little.

There’s an item in today’s news that says that our MPs want the minimum driving age raised to 18 years.

And yet I’ve been (Hmm… I can’t say ‘cut up’ because that would be incorrect so I’ll use the proper description) forcibly blocked from proceeding in an unexpected manner that caused me to have to use severe braking and then had my journey halted three times today.

Not by younger drivers.

Middle aged drivers.

Two females and one male.

And not a boy-racer in sight.


Hill Street Blues

I used to watch the eponymous TV prog.

Mold-breaking, in its day.

But I remember a scene from one particular episode where hardened police Sergeant says to bitter undercover cop:

Let’s hope the temperature doesn’t climb any hotter. If the mercury gets higher so will the body count.

It was an observation that in warmer times people can be prone to lose their cool (ha ha!) and do things they might later regret.

I remember this scene because about 17.00 today in sunny south London (temp: 24.5c) I saw the logical in action.

Two car drivers, outside Camberwell, stopped to have a real ding dong in the middle of the road.

Neither vehicle had made contact with the other but, I suspect, one was keeping station too closely for the leading driver to be comfortable with.

Did I say ‘ding dong’?

It was a real slagging match.

And a fist was waved in the face of one driver,

Neither showed signs of backing down.

Neither did back down.

And then a passing police car pulled over and the driver of that vehicle intervened.

Then the matter was closed off.


Not why did he intervene.

Why did it happen?

Why do we let our self-control evaporate when we got warmer?

Why do we permit ourselves to become so… stressed out that we always seem to be living on the verge of blowing up when things we don’t like cross our field of vision?

I find it impossible to believe that this scene would have occurred in the dead of winter.

It was interesting to observe – and interesting to listen to.

But I’m thankful that we don’t carry guns as a matter of routine in this country.


Sunday’s show jumping…

Didn’t happen.

Whilst it would be untrue to say that ‘rain stopped play’ (other nutcases braved the downpours)…

I decided to let discretion be the better part of valour.

And remained at home.

I wasn’t being a fair-weather rider (honest!).

I just didn’t have any water-wings big enough for Vin.