Some areas are more prone to flooding than others. Floods usually occur after a period of heavy rainfall. Floods typically happen in areas where the sewers and drains can’t cope and there is nowhere for the water to soak away.
As with all driving emergencies, prevention is better than the cure; in the case of flooding this means watching the weather forecasts before you set out on a trip.
Never underestimate the dangers of flood water. Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock over and carry off an adult. Twelve inches of water can float a small car and water at this depth can cause stalling as it is sucked into the exhaust or washes into the air intake. If that water is moving, it can carry that car away.
It is impossible to tell the exact depth of water covering a roadway or the condition of the road below the water. This is especially true at night when your vision is more limited. It is never safe to drive or walk through flood waters.
Things to think about…
- Never attempt to drive through a flood that you couldn’t walk through and be aware that water hides dips in the road.
- If negotiating a flooded section of road, drive in the middle where the water will be at its shallowest.
- Consider other drivers – pass through flooded sections one car at a time, don’t drive through water against approaching vehicles.
- In some cases a stalled engine can result in water being sucked back through the exhaust into the cylinders – this can cause extensive and expensive damage.
- After driving through a flooded section of road, test your brakes (while you are driving slowly).
- If your car has been abandoned and has stood in deep water for a long period (an hour or more) it’s worth getting a mechanic to look at it before you try and start it.
When you come to a flooded road, follow this simple strategy:
Stay Calm and Turn Around!