Stay safe on the road while driving through water
Corner Park Garages, Swansea and Cardiff
July 10, 2018 at 4:01 PM
It is always advisable to drive when weather conditions are favourable. However, since weather conditions are sometimes unpredictable, you may find yourself in a situation where you have to drive through such conditions. However, it is always recommended to find a better option, and only opt to drive through adverse weather conditions if there is no other cautious choice to be taken. Here is what you should do when driving through floods or water.
Every year we see fatalities cause by flooding. It is therefore recommended that when you encounter such conditions to try and find a different route that is safe and free from flooding. While technological advancements have seen an improvement in how cars deal with extreme weather, water is still a major issue for most engines and electrical systems. In addition, raging flood water has the potential of washing away your car away. This is why your first priority should be to avoid routes that are flooded.
It is recommended to avoid driving through water that is more than six inches deep. You can estimate the depth of the water by physically examining it or watching tyres of other vehicles on the road. This is to void water entering the exhaust pipe or engine. You should always proceed cautiously and if possible, call for an emergency when there is a likelihood of being stranded. When driving through water, you should also drive slowly since speed may mean you lose control of steering your car or you will generate bow waves which may be harmful to your engine, electrical systems or exhaust.
Observe best practices
When it rains, visibility is usually low most of the times. Drivers are thus advised to turn on their headlights. If visibility is seriously hampered, it is advisable to turn on your fog lights and only turn them off when visibility improves. If there are other motorists on the road, it is recommended to maintain ample space. This is because cars take longer to stop in wet conditions.
Do not panic
Flooding can be a traumatising experience especially when there is a lot of gushing water. If you are caught up in flooding and cannot seem to be able to open the doors, it is recommended to stay calm and not panic. Panicking may prevent you from thinking logically and coming up with a solution that will get you out of the mess. Instead, you should try methods such as pushing the doors slowly with your two feet. If this does not work, try breaking the windows with a blunt heavy object. You should try breaking the windows rather than the windscreen because they are easier to break.
Only restart engine as a last resort
Restarting your car in a waterlogged area may result in irreversible damage to your engine. If you find yourself in such a condition, it is advisable to switch it off to avoid further damage.