The AA is advising drivers to remain vigilant for hidden hazards left by the floods.
Although the worst of the weather has passed, groundwater levels remain very high, and the AA continues to assist people stuck in flood water – more than 4,300 vehicles since 1 December.
Darron Burness, head of the AA’s flood rescue team, said: “Even though river levels are dropping, surface water flooding is expected to remain a hazard for at least the next couple of months, as the water table is so high.
“This means it won’t take much rain to set the clock back in some places given the ground and drains are bursting. With so many roads still affected, you need to remain vigilant when driving, particularly after dark or in an unfamiliar area.
“As well as the water itself, the flooding is presenting other, sometimes hidden, hazards. Our patrols report cars damaged or left stuck by missing or broken manholes, drains and kerbstones. A puncture is one thing but these ‘wheel breakers’ are potentially deadly if you’re on two wheels.
“The actual road surface is in a pretty sorry state in many places too. The rain has washed out loose material, aggravating any existing damage, and as waters recede, silt and other debris get left behind.”
Paul Watters, the AA’s head of roads policy, said: “We know many highway authorities are struggling to keep up with the work needed across many roads, not only with flooding damage but also from fallen trees. The AA still advises drivers to report highway defects to local authorities even though they will be prioritising the repairs given the amount there is to do.”