Floods | Driving tips and safety in urban areas

When the rainy season rolls in and storms get so big that we give them names, there is a huge peril facing motorists:  flooding. Floods in urban areas unnecessarily claim lives every year.  battleface has compiled some hints to keep you and your passengers safe in the wet, wet, wet.

When there is heavy rain:

  •       Turn your headlights on. Most highway codes demand this when visibility is seriously reduced
  •       Increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front. It takes longer to stop in wet conditions
  •       Be aware of aquaplaning. If your steering seems light then ease off the speed and slow down
  •       If your car does break down, don’t open the hood while you wait for assistance. The electronics in your engine are notoriously prone to failing when wet

On flooded streets:

  •      Avoid driving through large areas of standing water wherever possible
  •      Do not attempt to drive into flooded water that is moving or more than 10cm deep
  •      Enter the water at 2 – 5kmh and drive no faster than 10kmh
  •      Test your brakes as soon as you can after driving out of a flooded area
  •      Be aware that fast moving water is very powerful. It only takes 30cm of moving water to float most cars
  •      If you get stuck in flooded water its usually best to wait in the car and call for help rather than exit

Be aware:

  •       Most drowning incidences occur within only 3 – 4m of a point of safety
  •       Even strong swimmers have drowned in flooded streets
  •       In waist-deep water most people will be washed off their feet
  •       Never assume that the flood water is clean – chances are that it will be contaminated and will carry diseases

Finally, the only way to guarantee that you won’t be in danger when driving in flood-prone areas is to find another route, or wait until it is safe. Though that is often easier said than done, the consequences of taking on a force of nature normally eventually produces only one winner – those are odds that eventually claim lives.