It is never safe to drive through a flood. If you’re on the road and you encounter a flooded region, it is always the best option to turn back and either find a place to safely wait it out or find another route. The alternative is potentially being bogged down or stranded on your car’s roof, of damage to your vehicle’s engine and electrical systems, or even of life-threatening danger.
Even if the water appears shallow, it’s important to remember that this can be deceptive and that the water could be hiding debris, fallen power lines, and sudden dips. If you cannot safely walk through the water and if it is moving or rises over the centre of your wheels, do not enter it.
Storms and heavy rain can bring on flash floods and flood water can move at rapid speeds, so if you’re unexpectedly caught up in this while already in transit, observe the following safety tips.
Always choose the safest option
Don’t panic. You need to focus on the surroundings and to keep your wits about you. If you can safely exit your vehicle and proceed to higher ground then that’s your best move.
If you were caught out in unpredictable weather and you’re able to proceed safely through standing water, drive slowly. Just 15cm of water can cause a driver to lose control, no matter the speed. If you’re crossing a flooded patch, enter at 1.5 to 3 km/h, and then maintain your speed at around 3.5 to 6 km/h to help avoid the engine from flooding.
Where possible, on a flooded road, drive down the centre as the water is usually the shallowest there, taking turns with oncoming cars so that there is only one vehicle at any time in a single line. When you’re exiting the water, dry your brakes with slow, light taps on the brake pedal. Even if waters have subsided, keep an eye out for landslides as damage to a road is unknown until it’s completely dry and assessed.
Hopefully, you will never find yourself in an accident caused by flooding. However, in the event your vehicle suffers damage that is not your fault from any kind of accident, contact our replacement courtesy car team on 1800699034. You are entitled if not at fault, under Australian law, to an accident replacement vehicle while your car is undergoing repair.