How to Drive Safely in Flood Conditions
Although you may take your vehicle in for a regular car service to keep your car in tiptop condition, you still need to take extra preparatory steps to drive safely in times of flood. In fact, it takes a special set of skills to drive carefully in these dangerous conditions and many drivers are ill-prepared or in some cases reckless.
A flooded road can be extremely dangerous for motorists and during a heavy storm flood conditions can emerge relatively quickly. It is one thing to avoid a flooded area after a storm has occurred, but it is quite another skill to drive during heavy weather and avoid potential dangers. Newspapers are filled with reports of drivers who becomes stranded in Flood conditions, sadly many could have been avoided through safer driving techniques.
It doesn’t matter where in the world you live, learning some simple safety techniques when driving in flooded conditions can save your life or leased save you from expensive car repairs which Flood damage can cause.
Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to drive safely in flood conditions.
- If you have to drive into a flooded area, make sure you plan your trip carefully to avoid as many flooded roads as possible. This may mean driving a little further to get to your destination, but the trouble will be well worth it. Follow high ridge lines were possible and keep your eyes peeled for flowing water.
- Make sure your vehicle is ready for the journey and has enough fuel to get you to your destination and back. A full tank is ideal, and if at all possible you should fill your tank along the way to avoid the possibility of becoming stranded if you travel further than you originally thought.
- Official road reports can give you some guidelines as to safe travel paths so make sure you use only the recommended routes and do not stop to sightsee along the way. People living in flooded areas do not need the obstruction of sightseers.
- Keep your radio tuned to the appropriate stations so you can receive up-to-the-minute reports of road conditions as they unfold. This will help you plan your journey more accurately and safely. In any case, always be on the lookout for areas where streams and rivers can rise before being officially reported.
- Never attempt to drive through a road which is clearly flooded even if you think the water is shallow. Many drivers have found themselves in real trouble because they underestimated the strength of the water flow or the possibility of deeper potholes in the submerged road.
- Avoid fast moving water at all cost. This is possibly the most dangerous situation you can find yourself in when travelling in flooded areas. 50 cm of fast moving floodwater is sufficient to force your car off the road and sweep you off the road or bridge.
Preparing your vehicle with a regular auto service is a great idea but always remember to check your vehicle after travelling in flooded areas and get your mechanic to check it over so you can repair any damage the water may have caused.