Many people make the mistake of ignoring flood condition warnings when they are about to get into their car and drive. People are likely to think the warnings are overly cautious, that driving through water isn’t that big of a deal or that the water won’t get that deep over the road. But all of these conditions and more can and do happen during heavy rains and dire situations can arise quickly. In fact, more than 100 people die due to flood conditions on roadways per year.
Here are a few of the major dangers you can encounter when driving in flood conditions:
- Standing water can conceal objects or dips in the road that can damage your car or cause an accident.
- Water makes road slick, which makes controlling your vehicle difficult.
- Electrical lines that are down can electrocute you. Many flood death are electricity related.
- High water can submerge and destroy your car’s engine.
- 6 to 12 inches of water can lift a car and 2 feet of moving water can pick a car up and carry it away. Cars can slide into each other or into other property damaging the car or property.
Driving Safely When Water On The Road Starts To Rise
Even if a flood related accident doesn’t result in death or injury, depending on your type of car insurance it can be very costly as well. If you only have liability insurance then you will end up paying for damages to your car out of pocket. Remember, liability insurance only pays for damage you do to another party in the event of a car accident. If flooding is a concern you will will want to have comprehensive coverage which pays claims on weather related damage.
In order to avoid accident or injury during flood conditions, make sure to be aware of upcoming weather warnings and heed all advisories in your area. If you see blockades or signs that warn of flooded roads, turn around and find an alternate route. Pull over to a safe location to wait out a heavy storm. If you have to drive through standing water do so extremely slowly and cautiously. If you can no longer drive and are stuck in rising water, abandon the vehicle and move to higher ground immediately. Watch out for objects floating or rushing downstream or for any live power-lines.