Flash Flood Driving Tips

Posted on: August 22nd, 2018 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

Flash Flood Driving Tips Summer and Fall both pose risks for drivers in Colorado, especially when it comes to those surprise storms and sudden bouts of heavy rain. Flash flooding is not uncommon in the front range, and if you are on the road when it happens, things can get scary, fast. Flood driving safety is extremely important, so let’s take a minute to review what your options are with some flash flood driving tips should do if faced with no other option than to drive through a flooded area.

Avoid Standing Water

First and foremost – avoid standing water at all costs. If you can move around it safely without changing routes, do so, but proceed with caution. Standing water is dangerous for a number of reasons, including the damage it can do to your vehicle if you drive through it. Standing water in flash flood situations is especially dangerous because it is often deceiving, and may not appear to be moving as quickly as it is, causing unexpected and treacherous situations if you try to plow through it to get to the other side. Even small patches of standing water can cause irrevocable damage to your vehicle if you’re not careful.

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Obey the Barricades

If there’s enough warning, local law enforcement may put up barricades in areas where flooding is most likely to happen. If you see these barricades while driving, you have to obey them. They are put up for your safety, and even if they cause an inconvenience to you, chances are they will save you a lot of money in repairs (or the purchase price of a new car entirely) in the long run. Driving around them can lead you into standing water areas or areas where small puddles can turn into treacherous mini-streams soon enough.

Take Alternate Routes

If you have the foresight to see standing water ahead of time, or know that a portion of your originally intended route is prone to flooding when a flash flood watch or warning is issued, we recommend taking an alternate route. It may lengthen the amount of time you’re on the road, but it will also keep you safe and dry, and avoid you having to attempt tricky maneuvers that are likely to leave your vehicle damaged.

Keep an Eye on Items Floating Downstream

In the event that you are forced to drive through standing water, it’s important to take as many extra precautions as possible. This includes watching other vehicles if they are driving through the water first, to see how they manage. You should also keep an eye on items floating downstream, as they have the potential to trap you or crush your vehicle if they are large enough, moving fast enough, and you are in their path (hence could result in auto body repair and yes, we have seen this). Even small obstacles can become dangerous when pushed with the force of rushing flash flood waters.

Get Out of There

Getting through the water safely is ideal, and when you come out on the other side, it’s important to make sure, cautiously, that your vehicle is working as it should. If the water you were driving in water up to or past your wheel rims, testing your brakes slowly and carefully on a patch of clear road is crucial to avoid future accidents. In the event that they are not dry or operating as they should be, you can self-dry them by very gently pressing on the brake pedal with your left foot while maintaining speed with your right.

Sometimes, you get stuck in standing water. If you find yourself stalled, unable to restart your vehicle (which can cause irreparable damage to your car’s engine in flooded conditions), or the water is rising, it’s time to jump ship. If at all possible, roll down a window or open a door in order to get to higher ground as quickly as possible. If necessary, call 9-1-1 or get the attention of someone nearby so they can do this for you.

At the end of the day, avoiding water of any kind pooling on the roads is the best way to keep yourself safe in potential flood situations, but having this knowledge in your back pocket can help you get through when the situations are less than ideal. Stay safe out there!

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