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Driving In Flood Waters

Contrary to popular belief, a flood does not have to be a major event in order to make driving a dangerous activity.  As many as 50% of all flood related fatalities are automobile related, and the sad part is that many of them could have been avoided. It only takes water about ankle high to stall out most vehicles, which leaves you stranded in rapidly rising and quick flowing water.

When driving in adverse conditions, you not only want to avoid high water situations, but rather any scenario where the road is not visible due to the presence of water.  Many drivers are trying to either get home to safety or evacuate to safety when they encounter a flood situation, and as such are more willing to take the risk of driving through flowing water.

As a general rule, if you cannot see the yellow line in the center of the road, then you should make no attempt to drive through it. Water is deceptive, and it may mean that the road beneath is no longer there. You could easily find yourself swept away, unable to get out of your car. It only takes about two feet of water to float a car, even a big one. As a general rule, you should never drive through any water that appears to be more than 6 inches deep.

If you do find yourself swept away in your vehicle, it is important not to panic. If you can open the door, get out and move to higher ground. In many cases, the weight of the water will make it impossible to open the door. Your only recourse then is to allow the car to fill with water. The pressure will equalize, allowing you to open the door and get to safety. Granted this puts you in a precarious spot, but by that point you have very little to lose.

Don’t take chances with flooding and driving. Move to higher ground as soon as you can and stay there until the flood waters recede.



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