Call us: 800.246.8000
Flood Safety and Driving

“First the rain falls, then come the phone calls”, is what any first responded or dispatcher can attest due to spring flooding. Most drivers overestimate their vehicles’ capabilities and underestimate the dynamics of floodwater leading to stalled cars or trapped motorists.

Nearly half of all flood fatalities are due to motorists attempting to drive through flood water. Walking in or near flood water is the second leading cause of flood deaths.

  • As little as 18 to 24 inches of floodwater can carry off a vehicle.
  • As little as 6 inches of floodwater can carry off a person.

Follow these tips for keeping safe during a flood:

  • Do not walk-through flowing water
  • Do not drive through a flooded area.
  • Stay away from power lines and electrical wires.
  • If your home could flood, shut off gas and electricity, and move valuable contents upstairs.
  • Know your area; when and where it frequently floods.
  • Monitor the weather, especially during outdoor activities near creeks and riverbeds.
    • A watch means conditions are right, prepare.
    • A warning means it is happening now. Act now! During flash flooding, you may only have a few seconds.

Extra caution has to be taken while driving in the rain or wet weather. Wet roads can cause compromised drivability that increases the risk of deadly accidents. Hydroplaning is a real possibility during and after a good rain. In a flood situation, anything from downed power lines to debris can easily be hidden under the water and harm you without warning.

If you absolutely must drive over a water-logged road, follow the best practices below:

  • Drive down the Center of the road, at the highest point.
  • Take turns with other cars
  • Only cross when the water is extremely shallow
  • Drive slowly = 1-4 mph.
  • Drive in Low gear
  • Dry your breaks with slow, light taps after exiting the water.

STAY OUT of moving water. PERIOD. Many people have been put in dire situations after thinking they could drive through water that was clearly moving. If your wheels lose grip while driving through water (we told you no to do it!), open the door of the car and let water in. You may be starting to float, but the extra water adds weight that will keep you down.

Turn Around Don’t Drown!

About the Author

Debug user