The Do's and Don'ts of Driving in a Flood
After a bad storm, driving may be the furthest thing from some people’s minds. But, if you were stuck at work during the storm, or just have somewhere to be, driving may be inevitable after a storm. It is important to understand the best tactics when driving post storm, especially if the streets are flooded. Here are a few things to remember if you find yourself driving on flooded streets.
Avoid Standing Water
When you have somewhere to be, driving through a flooded street doesn’t seem like a big deal. “That’s the quickest route, I’ll be fine.” But, there can be dangers below the surface of flooded streets, such as:
- Branches or other debris
- Potholes or washed out pavement
- Moving water
It is hard to tell just how dangerous a flooded street may be, so don’t take the risk. Even a few inches can stall your vehicle or even move it off the road. Flood damage experts recommend that you find an alternate route or just wait until the water has a chance to drain. A few extra minutes on your trip is better than damage to your car.
A flooded street is not a racetrack. Even if the water is shallow enough to navigate, you still need to reduce your speed so that you don’t stall your vehicle or hydroplane. If your tires cause water to fan out to the side, you are probably going too fast to be safe.
Don’t Use Others as a Gauge
Just because other drivers make it through flooded roads, that doesn’t mean you should try it. Flood conditions change rapidly. The car in front of you could have inadvertently knocked some debris into your path that will tear up your vehicle. Their car may be able to withstand more than yours as well. It is important to use your best judgment and focus on your own driving, rather than someone else’s.
A flooded street is not meant to be a challenge. It’s better to turn around and find an alternate route, or wait until the water drains rather than risking your car or your own safety. Wherever you need to be would want you there later safely than not there at all due to flood damage.