Why you should never Drive in a Flood

Cars were not meant to be amphibious. They sink in high water, and they do not steer or float. There are electrical and mechanical parts that fail to function when exposed to water. They are not watertight, and are extremely difficult to escape from when submerged.

Floods are devastating acts of nature that are totally out of our control. The best solution, if you can, is to avoid flooded areas, and that includes driving through them. Unfortunately, however, a great many accidents involving people, cars, and floods are caused by the conscious decision to try to navigate flooded roads, and ignoring the adage, “Turn around, don’t drown.”

Flooded streets, highways and roads become part of the surrounding landscape, which is also covered with water. Even if  you know the road, and are relatively sure that you can drive through a flooded section, you shouldn’t. In a flood, the depth of the water on the land and the road can change in a matter of minutes. What was, on a normal day, an ordinary highway can become a raging torrent.

The road has flooded due to a river or creek that has overflowed, and is running at a high rate of speed. Even water that is a foot or two deep is a force to be reckoned with when it is flowing fast. Cars can and do float away, invariably to deeper water. Even if your car doesn’t get caught in the current, there is always the possibility that the engine will flood out, leaving you in the water with no way out except on foot. News broadcasts are full of videos of rescues every year of people who thought they could drive through and ended up clinging to the roof of their car.

Driving in flooded areas, especially at night is a good way to encounter unexpected dangers. You may come upon high water that has yet to be cordoned off, and the impact of your vehicle on the water will cause hydroplaning that can send you off the road, and into even deeper trouble.

Water, flowing at a high rate of speed is a force to be respected, and even though you may think that your vehicle is heavy enough to hold it’s ground, the water will usually win out. When in doubt, do not travel through flooded roads. Turn around and find an alternate route. It may take longer, but at least you will get to your destination.