What to do when driving through a flooded road
Safety measures to undertake while driving in flood waters. (Photo Credits)
There will be a point in anyone’s driving career that a person may have to drive through a flooded area. This is especially true during periods of torrential rains or flash floods when a driver would have to traverse some flooded areas to get to his destination.
The National Weather Service has published a flier, aimed at guiding drivers on what to do when encountering floodwaters on the road. In that guide, they emphasized their campaign dubbed as “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.”
“Many drivers over estimate their ability to navigate flooded roads, putting too much stock in their heavy” vehicles. In reality, most motorists lose control of their vehicles, including SUVs, in just six inches of water, while 18-24 inches of moving water will force a vehicle off the road. The menace is buoyant force. When the buoyant force is greater than the vehicle’s weight, the vehicle will move with the moving water. Besides the buoyant force, erosion is another significant concern. Moving water is very powerful and can undermine the integrity of a road. A motorist will be unaware he is driving into a scoured out section of the road.”
Download the flier here.
The US Department of Homeland Security meantime published in its website Ready.gov a comprehensive guide on dealing with flood situations. For drivers of vehicles, they again emphasized their campaign for drivers to “turn around, don’t drown” when confronted with floodwaters.
“Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Do not drive over bridges that are over fast-moving floodwaters. Floodwaters can scour foundation material from around the footings and make the bridge unstable. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away. If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground. If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Do not leave the car and enter moving water. Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.”
Read the whole guide here.
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In the unfortunate event that one has to abandon the car in a flooded area, and then flood waters recede, Popular Mechanics shared some advice on what to do with a flooded vehicle.
“Don’t wait for the adjuster to arrive. Mold and corrosion are setting in now. You need to clean out as much liquid and mud as you can and dry out your car as soon as possible. Don’t try to start the car. If there’s water in the engine, transmission or fuel system, you’ll just compound the damage. Disconnect the battery ground strap first-you must do this, otherwise you’ll fry something. Next, begin assessing just how deep the water got. Frankly, if the waterline is as high as the dashboard, you will probably be better off talking the adjuster into totaling the car and getting another.”
Read the rest of their advice here.
Driving in flooded waters can be very dangerous. It is best that drivers be aware on how to deal with such situations to avoid accidents.