By Sarah Fichter
Driving during a flash flood can be a nail-biting, harrowing experience. According to Statista, In 2020, there were 57 fatalities reported due to flash floods and river floods in the United States. Flooding can happen quickly and sometimes with little warning to the driver.
If you find yourself in this situation – roads flooding and fast-moving water – follow these tips to keep you and your passengers safe.
Stay Up to Date on Weather Reports
If you know an intense storm is headed your way, or if your city has experienced a week full of rain, check the weather reports a few times a day. Being well-advised on flood reports in your area is the safest way to avoid driving while flooding occurs; your local TV station, the radio and a variety of apps are all great options for staying in the know. Avoid driving during flash flood warnings unless it is necessary.
How to Drive in a Flood
- If you can’t avoid driving in storms and high winds, drive with your headlights on, using your low beams.
- Slow down; excessive speeds can cause hydroplaning.
- You will want to maintain more space around your vehicle and other autos – don’t ride the car’s bumper in front of you!
- Try and avoid large puddles of water. It only takes six inches of water to stall your vehicle and only two feet of water to push your car off the road.
- Avoid areas that are more active with flooding.
- Do not stand in a large puddle of water when you exit your vehicle. Six inches of moving water is also enough to knock an adult over.
- If your vehicle is trapped, do not panic; do not call 911 if no one is injured or in immediate danger. Instead, exit the vehicle and get to higher ground immediately. If a door does not open, break a window.
- If your vehicle begins to sink, lower a window immediately to have an escape route. Never use your car as a floating device; it can pull you under the water.
Because damage can occur during these instances, it is advisable to ensure your auto insurance has you covered. The TrustPoint Insurance & Real Estate Team can help you with your options.
Flooding on the road can be scary, but you must avoid panicking. Understanding and knowing the facts are critical to a safe outcome for the situation.