Dumb Drivers and Flooded Ford Is a Hilariously Lethal Combination

Flooded ford crossing mayhem 11 photos
Photo: BENGREGERS/YouTube screenshot collage
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There's nothing wrong with turning round and finding an alternate route when the one in front of you exceeds the limits of your vehicle or those of your driving skills. The hard part, however, is admitting to any of those.
After all, we pay a lot of money for our cars, so we like to think they are, if not the best, then at least up there within contention. As for our driving skills, well, it's common knowledge that if you want to pick a fight with somebody, particularly a male, all you need to do is tell them they are awful drivers. If there is some wiggle room left about whether our cars are the best in the world, the fact we are the most capable drivers is beyond any doubt, and we will gladly defend our honor if someone claims otherwise.

Well, it looks like all that's needed to bring people's feet down to earth is a flooded ford (in North Nottinghamshire, UK, in this instance) and the need to be on its other side. Cue a ton of drivers who apparently have no idea about how to deal with a situation that requires them to wade through anything deeper than a puddle.

Not knowing isn't a problem. Nobody's born with that knowledge. For instance, when I was first faced with this situation, I pulled over and called my mechanic. He told me what to do and why to do it, so I went through safely and never forgot his advice.

Flooded ford crossing mayhem
Photo: BENGREGERS / YouTube screenshot
These people, though, most of them seem to think that the Moses vs. the Red Sea approach is the way to go, so they just go in as hard as they can. Needless to say, that's the worst possible way to go about it as long as you don't have a vehicle with a very high ground clearance or a snorkel. A V-shaped guard under the air filter would also help a lot since most of the water comes from underneath. Still, we have to understand that carmakers can't cater to every possible situation we might encounter on the road, so some of the responsibility falls to us, the drivers.

BMWs seem to have it particularly bad. Is that because they have a low-mounted air intake? The fact that one 5 Series managed to get through unscathed by driving at a crawling speed tells us it's more a case of driver overconfidence than anything else.

The funniest are by far the ones who think they've made it through, only for their engines to get hydro-locked a few feet further down the road. The inevitable call to the towing company ensues. Then there's the silver Peugeot driver who thought it was wise to tempt fate by going back after the first successful crossing, only to end up pushing the car out of knee-deep water before realizing that wasn't the solution and having the car towed.

Some manage to make it through despite the fact they floor it, but even those run the risk of coming out without the front license plate. There's one Vauxhall (Opel) that nearly loses its rear bumper, just like the famous Tesla Model 3 incident, but the big plastic piece manages to hang on in the end.

Flooded ford crossing mayhem
Photo: BENGREGERS / YouTube screenshot
We suspect the fear of losing traction is why some people opt for the gung-ho approach, but it's really not the case. As long as the vehicle doesn't become buoyant, any 2WD car will have no problem overcoming the friction with the water and pushing the liquid aside. It's the way it pushes it that makes the difference between continuing the trip on the vehicle's wheels or the back of a tow truck.

It's all about going in slowly, maintaining the low speed, and only accelerating once the nose of the car is out of the water. Otherwise, the risk of water building up in front of the car and eventually making its way into the intake system, eventually flooding the cylinders, is really high. The perfect exemplification that it's ultimately all about technique and nothing else is a tiny Polo making it through without any problems.

Of course, a higher ground clearance means the body won't even touch the water, which is why a few vehicles were having a little too much fun. A couple of old Land Rovers, a new Defender, a Mercedes-Benz Unimog, and even a tractor blaze through the water splash like it wasn't there, probably making those stranded BMW owners question their purchasing decision.

Watching the clip, you can't escape the feeling that it would have been nice if the people gathered there stopped every driver, telling them to go slow instead of filming. However, that's how the world works these days: God forbid you need assistance if you're in a spectacular situation because all you'll get is a dozen phone cameras pointed at you.

At the end, when the water level will drop down, all there will be left is a pile of license plates and a much richer local towing company. Hopefully, also a few wiser drivers.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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