Drivers are being urged to take extra care on motorways and major A roads today (Tuesday) as heavy rain and flooding continue to affect driving conditions across the country.
The Environment Agency has issued 75 flood warnings across the country including the south east as well as 205 flood alerts.
The Met Office has issued Severe Weather Alerts for rain in the south east. These will continue into Tuesday morning.
Highways England and its contractors are working around the clock to remove water and clear drains, and help keep traffic moving.
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.
The Met Office offers the following advice for driving in rain and wind:
• If heavy downpours are expected, avoid starting your journey until it clears.
• 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.
Drivers are also advised to follow messages on overhead signs and listen to radio updates. Further information can be found by visiting the www.highways.gov.uk/traffic or calling the Highways England Information Line on 0300 123 5000.