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Tips for Driving in Flood Areas

Many have found themselves in this situation. We wake up in the morning to the sound of heavy rain, the roads have been filling with water overnight. We would much rather stay in bed but we all have commitments, often work related. This means we must get up and get going on our morning journey regardless. On rare occasions we may navigate through heavily flooded roads during our journey. It can be a worry dealing with the pressure of trying to get to our destination whilst battling adverse conditions. In a worst case scenario, poor judgement could result in becoming stuck and unable to continue our journey. Fortunately this can be avoided by understanding just a few of these top tips for driving in flooded areas.

Use Your Judgement

Ultimately, navigating these flooded areas will come down to your own personal judgement. By taking the key points into consideration you can make a confident decision. You must weigh up whether the flooded road is realistically passable. This will depend entirely on the severity of the particular flood, the capability of your vehicle and your own competence to commit to the crossing.

Is this a major flood or a minor one? Could you happily walk through it in wellies or would you struggle to keep your standing? If the flood resembles the former, you should be just fine. But if itís the latter or any worse, the deciding factor will be the next point.

Not all cars are created equal when it comes to flood navigation. Usually itís the 4X4s, pickup trucks and many SUVs that have the upper hand. Greater height and clearance of the vehicle allows for much easier crossings as much less will come into contact with the water. Exhaust height should never be forgotten. If water travels up your exhaust system the engine will stall, and its game over.

Look For an Alternative Route

Look at what other people are doing. Donít blindly follow, just observe. If people in similar cars to you are successfully crossing without much trouble you can gain much needed reassurance.

If most seem to be turning back, getting stuck, the road is actually closed or you simply donít feel confident you should find an alternative route. Diversion signs may have even been put into place if the authorities are already aware.

Fully Commit

The success of your crossing depends mainly on your commitment. As with many things in life, if you begin something must see it through till the end. You should approach the water at a reasonable speed and keep it consistent the whole time whilst you cross.

  • Going too fast will forcibly push water through your car and risk causing damage.
  • Go too slow and you risk losing all momentum, stopping and stalling.
  • Keep you speed stable through-out, you may be ďriding the waveĒ so keep turbulence to a minimum.
  • Test your brakes after the crossing.
  • Be aware steam may temporally rise from your car as cold water hits the hot engine parts.


published: 07/11/2014 09:14:00

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