Flooding on the roads can come on suddenly, especially if there is a torrential rain storm or tornado conditions. While it is always safest to stay off the roads during bad weather, flood conditions can come on suddenly in a downpour, and you may have no alternative. Consider these important points if you’re faced with a flooded roadway:
- Just six inches of water will reach the bottom of most cars—causing possible loss of control and stalling.
- Most vehicles will float in a foot of water.
- Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles, including SUVs and pickup trucks.
Eight Tips for Driving Safely in a Flood
Driving on flooded roads can cause thousands of dollars in damages to a vehicle as well as put the occupants in serious danger of injury or death. However, if it is unsafe to pull over or other motorists prevent you from doing so, there are some ways to navigate in a flood:
- Do not drive through a barricade. Barricades are put up to protect motorists. If you see one, you should turn around.
- Do your best to estimate how deep the water is. If other cars are ahead of you, it may help you to judge the water’s depth.
- Drive slowly. It is important to drive slowly and steadily in deep water. Allow oncoming traffic to pass before starting out and try not to stop in the standing water.
- Keep a safe distance from other vehicles. It is critical to keep more space than normal between your vehicle and the one ahead of you because of the risk that the other driver could lose control of his vehicle.
- Avoid driving in water with downed electrical or power lines. Electricity travels easily in water, so driving in this situation would be extremely dangerous.
- Watch for objects in the water. Objects traveling in the flooded area could trap you or crush you if you collide with them.
- Be careful trying to restart a stalled vehicle. If you try to restart your vehicle in deep water, you should be aware that it could permanently damage the engine. It may be safer to call 911 and try to get out of the vehicle by opening a window or the door.
- Test your brakes after exiting the flooded area. Try your brakes on a dry spot while driving slowly. If they are wet, press gently on the brake pedal with your left foot while continuing to drive slowly to dry them.
Even if you are driving safely in a flooded area, other motorists may speed, drive too closely to you, or engage in other unsafe practices that could result in a crash. You could suffer thousands of dollars in vehicle repairs alone—if the engine is not permanently damaged—as well as serious injuries. Fortunately, you may be entitled to compensation for your vehicle repair costs, medical bills, lost wages, and more from the other driver who caused your collision.
Have you had experience driving in a flood? Tell us your tips in the comments and share this post with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter.