Storm Babet: Drivers encouraged to check vehicles for damage and wildlife as heavy rain and strong winds hit Wakefield, Dewsbury and Halifax
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The storm is set to bring heavy rain and strong winds to West Yorkshire over the coming days and people are being warned that the after-effects can lead not only to visible damage but also hidden dangers, posing serious threats to a car's operation and safety.
And wildlife displaced by a storm can take refuge under vehicles, presenting another post-storm concern.
Dominic Wyatt, an expert from the International Drivers Association, has offered drivers advice on how to check their car to prevent any dangers from occurring.
An initial assessment of your vehicle after a storm involves checking for visible damage, with areas to inspect including windows and windshields potentially cracked or shattered, dents or scratches on the bodywork or fallen branches and damage to tyres, including punctures or splits.
A visual inspection will reveal some damage but it is also important to look deeper for hidden damage, Dominic warns.
He said: “Hidden damage can have serious consequences if not dealt with promptly and correctly.
"As always, when in doubt, consult with a professional mechanic."
Hidden damage to look out for includes underbody and engine component damage, water ingress in the electrics or mechanical systems, water contamination in the oil or floodwater in the vehicle.
A vital part of the post-storm check is to look under the vehicle for wildlife that might have taken refuge there.
It's not uncommon for small mammals and birds to seek shelter under vehicles when their homes are destroyed in a storm.
Before driving, check for any sign of these temporary occupants and gently coax them out to safety if possible.
Dominic continued: "Rabbits, hedgehogs, and even cats might curl up in the wheel wells or under the warmth of the engine.
"It might just save a life, whether it's enough to prevent a crash because your car's in working order or ensuring small wildlife doesn't meet an unfortunate end under a wheel."