Sudden floodwaters are always a frightful challenge for road users
Parked cars submerged in floodwaters

Sudden floodwaters are always a frightful challenge for road users

Heavy snow in combination with rain showers can create flash floods that tend to come rapidly and unexpectedly, compromising the safety of road users. The best advice is not to drive unless your journey is absolutely necessary. However, if you have to get behind the wheel then read below frequently asked questions on how to deal with water on the road.

Should I avoid flooded part of the road?

  • If you come upon a flooded street, take an alternate route. Getting stuck in a flood could be potentially dangerous as your vehicle might be hauled away in fast-moving water.
  • Attempting to drive through water also may stall your engine, with the potential to cause irreparable damage if you try to restart the engine. 

What's the depth to drive through standing water safely?

  • Driving in any depth of water can be risky so do your best to estimate the depth of the water. Halfway up of your wheels should be absolute maximum as you can lose control of your vehicle of stall engine if the depth is above 4 inches (10 cm).
  • Drive in the middle of the road as most roads dip down at either side.
  • Wait for oncoming cars to get out of the way before attempting to cross floodwater.

What's the safe speed to drive through standing water?

  • Keep your foot on the accelerator pedal and use the brake to regulate speed.
  • Stay in low gear to protect the car. If you’re driving an automatic vehicle, keep the speed low enough to stay in first or second gear.
  • Try not to stop to avoid getting stuck in the middle of the flooded road.

Should I drive through moving water?

  • The average vehicle can be swept off the road in less than 12 inches of moving water, and roads covered by water are likely to collapse. 
  • Driving through moving water is extremely dangerous and therefore is not recommended.

What to do if I stuck in deep water?

  • If your vehicle stalls in the deep water, you may need to restart the engine to make it to safety. Bear in mind that restarting the engine you’ll risk having a huge repair bill that could write your car off.
  • Try to get out before it fills up with water and free your passengers from seatbelts and child seats 
  • Help passengers escape through openings as quickly as possible

Always be alert, however, if, despite the safety measures taken, you or your loved ones are injured as a result of an accident that occurred through no fault of yours you have the right to pursue a “No Win – No Fee” Personal Injury Compensation claim. Even if someone else is partially at fault, you can still file a successful claim.

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