Rain doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but streets can become deadly in a matter of minutes if floodwater rises. If you don’t believe us, ask the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They found that over half of flood-related drownings resulted from a vehicle driving into floodwater. Drivers who get stuck in floods aren’t crazy or really into risk-taking. Like most people, they just underestimate how dangerous a low-water crossing can be. Sometimes you can’t determine the depth of water if the road dips or if there aren’t any good reference points around. Even if it’s apparent that the water is only a few inches or a foot deep, drivers don’t realize how serious the consequences can be for driving through water.
The Power of Floodwater
6 inches: Six inches of water is plenty enough to cause a vehicle’s tires to lose traction and slide. Sure, you probably not at risk of drowning, but you could easily lose control of your car and get into a serious crash.
12 inches: It only takes a foot of water to float most cars. If you’re floating, you’re not steering or braking. Rushing floodwater can carry you downstream.
2 feet: Floods are risky for even the largest, toughest vehicles. A pickup truck or SUV can be carried away by only a couple feet of water.
Turn Around, Don’t Drown
The best thing you can do to protect yourself and your car when there’s a flood is to follow this advice: Turn Around, Don’t Drown (TADD). If you come upon a roadway that appears to be flooded, DON’T try to drive through it. Turn around and find a detour. And by all means, you should NEVER drive around a barrier that is closing off a flooded road. It’s closed for a reason. Don’t destroy your car or risk your life due to impatience. Avoid flooded areas, and learn how to avoid hydroplaning when you’re driving on wet roads.